1985 OH 093
The following interview with Jan Watson details her personal and professional experiences in women’s athletics. Watson was born in South Carolina during WWII, and eventually graduated from Winthrop College in 1964 with a Physical Education degree. After graduating Watson made the choice to leave her home state to seek employment in Virginia because she claimed the VA athletics programs exceeded South Carolina offerings. In the interview Watson addresses how the Newport News, VA district reacted to her insistence on expanding the women’s athletics program, first with a field hockey program, then basketball and volleyball, and other sports followed within a few seasons. Watson also discusses her time in the AIAW administration and her role as a Region II representative. Watson’s interview provides incredible insight into how the personal initiative of local women stimulated women’s athletics program expansions, most especially with the intercollegiate environment that the AIAW expanded. In general, Watson’s interview details the pre Title IX culture that women athletics advocates challenged, as well as the early years of Title IX enforcement. Watson’s efforts resulted in improved programs for girls and collegiate women, and she, and the interview that follows, adequately represents the critical girls and women’s sports grassroots network that proved a force to be reckoned with in the years that followed Title IX.