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Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08
Page 23
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 23. July 1979 - August 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 22, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1531.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(July 1979 - August 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 23. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1531

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 23, July 1979 - August 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 22, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1531.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date July 1979 - August 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 28 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 23
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_552av.jpg
Transcript It rained the morning of Friday, July 13. The grass was still wet on the playing field at six that evening for the all-star women's soccer game. West Berlin was playing Houston. Even from a distance, the German team was easy to spot. Dressed in purple satin, with blond, short-cropped hair and muscular bodies, they performed their warm-up exercises in perfect symmetry. "I think they've done this before," one spectator commented. "They look like they've played together for years." Sameness characterized the German team; diversity was the hallmark of the Houston all-stars that day. In gym shorts and tennis shoes, they displayed a variety of hair styles and shades, all accented by colorful bandanas. "This team is definitely a melting pot of all different types," observed Becky Morris, wing-back for the Houston all-stars. "We have lawyers, a ballerina, a librarian, a couple of secretaries, housewives, an ex-rugby player and one with a masters in music." But team sports and the team concept are still new experiences to American women. "Playing on a team has put me with a group of people I thoroughly enjoy," said Morris. "This is something I missed all of my life. These are not just my teammates, they are my friends." Morris said when she moved to Houston she was lonely and did not know how to meet people. "I never have liked the idea of singles bars, so I just went to work and came home. "Then one day I read this article in the paper about women's soccer," she said. "I had never participated in team sports, but I thought I'd give it a try." That was two years ago. Morris is now the star wingback of Houston's Women United soccer team. At half-time Morris talked about how much the team had matured over the last few years. "The experience adds a new dimension to personal development. You are constantly trying to improve your ability to work with others," she said. "It is not so much making the goal yourself," said Morris, her face flushed with the heat of the afternoon. "It is when the team works together all the way down the field to make it happen." The whistle blew, signaling the start of the second half. Houston lost that game to West Berlin 2-0, but the defeat seemed only to heighten the determination of the Houston players. "Next time we meet, the score will be turned around," one Houston team member predicted as she congratulated the victors. •After the game one of the coaches joined some fans sitting on the sidelines and talked about his experience of coaching women's soccer. "It takes time for women to learn the team concept," said coach Larry Bolen. "Women never had a chance to do it before. I get plenty of swimmers and tennis players, but very rarely anyone that has ever played on a team." But things are changing. It is estimated that over 45,000 women in the greater Houston area participated in team sports last year. Not only are they out for soccer. They're playing rugby, fast pitch and slow pitch, volleyball, and basketball. Kathi Chappell is now the head coach of the Houston Hearts, one of the seven women's rugby teams in the Houston area. She first learned to play rugby when she was a student at Florida State University. "Whenever anyone gives me a hard* time about playing rugby, I simply smile and say 'It's dirty, sweaty, hard work . . . and I love it!' "It is such a release to get out there and be so physical," explained Chappell. "There is just nothing like the feeling you have after a game or a hard work-out. Your body feels all tingly and your mind totally alert. It is a wonderful feeling." Nineteen year-old Charlene Brunson has been playing slow pitch for 13 years. She has seen many changes. "I remember when I was six. I had to play T-ball," she recalled. "They would put the ball on this T-like stand, and you would stand there and hit it. Women's baseball has certainly come a long way since then." What makes her continue to play year after year? "That's easy to answer," she smiled. "I love the people I play with, I love the game, and frankly, I love to win." It has often been said that one reason women do not excel in the competitive field of business is that they never learned the "rules of the game." Now that women are participating in team sports, perhaps the score will begin to even out. "You learn lessons that only working with a team can teach you," said Chappell. "It is a constant striving to get along with each other, trying to motivate each other to excel, without conflicts among yourselves. Melanie Mayeaux Teamwork by Melanie Mayeaux "You have to learn to lead, as well as follow," she continued. "You learn to adjust to criticism, and learn how not to take problems home with you. I feel all of these things are extremely important for women who go into business," she said. "It is not only a joy to play with a team, it is an education." Marion Coleman, a successful businesswoman and president of the Greater Houston Area Women's Fastpitch League, agreed with Chappell. "When I am playing softball or basketball regularly, I feel better physically and have a better mental outlook. I feel more creative and alive, and that has a positive effect on everything I do. "I have made many lasting friendships through women's athletics, and I've learned a lot about team spirit, pride and having a good time," she said. But the women participating in team sports are not only learning the philosophy of the team concept, they are learning that in order to succeed, one must have a strong desire to win. "You have got to want to win," explained Chappell. "If there is not 150% effort on the field, your chances of success are nil. "Learning to compete also teaches you how to keep the competition only in the appropriate situation," she continued. "After beating each other's heads in for a few hours, you all walk off the field arm in arm. You learn to be a fair, honest and strong competitor." The joys and advantages of playing with a team are not limited to aggressive sports such as baseball, soccer and rugby. Bowling provides an important outlet for those women who wish to participate in a sport that is a little less physical. Rai Fisk has been bowling for 35 years. She is now the General Office Manager of the largest organized women's sport organization in Houston. The Houston Women's Bowling Association membership totals over 31,000. "Playing on a league gives one the chance to go out there and perform, and be recognized for the effort," said Fisk. "It provides a great sense of companionship and competition. "You meet people from all walks of life," she continued. "It is like being in a totally different world. Bowlers, as a group, are such caring people. The feeling of support is overwhelming." But whether it is the physical endurance of rugby, or the Friday night competition of the bowling league, the women that come out to play are as varied in their backgrounds and occupations as they are in their appearances. "It is always a shock when one sees the different types of women that come out to play rugby," said Chappell. "This year we had waitresses, nurses, secretaries, lots of students and a truck driver. Last year we had a mother and daughter on the team." It is the evolution of a group of individuals into a cohesive unit that fascinates Coleman. "I suppose the thing I like best," she stated, "is watching a team grow-individually and collectively—into a group where everyone is supportive and where each person realizes that she is an important, necessary and unique part of a total team effort." Morris, relaxing after the loss to the West Berlin team, expressed the same commitment to her teammates. Then she smiled as she revealed a more personal satisfaction. "Running down the field with all your adrenalin flowing is like all your childhood fantasies coming true." Melanie Mayeaux was a journalism student at College of the Mainland and plans to continue at UH in the fall. HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 23 JULY/AUGUST 1979