Monday, February 2, 2009

5 Questions With Megan Hueter (...Because I Played Sports)

Today's guest is a Megan Hueter that writes the blog ...Because I Played Sports. I'm a big fan of the blog and recommend that you give it a look if you haven't already. Megan took time out of her busy schedule to answer my five questions:

1. When did you first become involved in playing sports? What sports have you played through your life, organized or otherwise? What do you continue to play, if anything, today?

I first started playing sports at a very young age (too young to remember). I have a brother who is a year older, so I guess I just started playing when he did. I remember playing town leagues for tee ball, basketball, soccer and softball. I also swam for a bunch of years in the summers. My parents were really good at making sure my brother, sister and I were physically active almost all year round.

I played grade school basketball at St Rose in Haddon Heights, NJ. I went to two different high schools - first, Camden Catholic in Cherry Hill, NJ, then Haddon Heights HIgh School in Haddon Heights, NJ. I played both varsity basketball and softball during that time. My true love was basketball, though. I played AAU basketball from eighth grade all the way through high school (had a lot of fun times). Then, I went on to The College of New Jersey, and played all four years there, and was the captain my senior year.

Of course I continue to play basketball today in rec leagues around Washington, DC. I've made some really great friends doing that. I play in a women's league (which was hard to find) and a coed team. I also play flag football in the fall. I love playing rec sports. Coed is a new experience for me, and I love it.

2. What was the main motivation behind your blog? How did you come to choose the particular genre within the world of sports? What do you hope to accomplish?

I started my blog when I started working in digital public affairs. I wanted to learn about the blogosphere by actually being a part of it. I wanted to tailor my discussions around something that I love - sports. Choosing a genre in sports is hard (it's so complex). But I believe that women's sports don't get enough attention or credit, especially from some of the male sports blogs. Also, female sports is often confused with a cultural stereotype of masculinity. So I wanted to enter the sphere, make some friends, and start to promote change by promoting female athletes who excel. My hope is that by providing consistent, credible information online, and by forming a community of bloggers who support women in sports, we can start a movement to increase the voice for women and change perceptions of what it means to be a female athlete.

3. You come up with some of the most amazing stories - where do you find most of your material? Do you cover what you are most interested in or do you add in other areas of women's sports that maybe aren't your favorite sports/events to cover?

I have many friends offline who support women in sports. By getting the word out to them that I'm writing, they often forward interesting stories to me. I try to write about them wherever possible. Title IX interests me, too, because I believe that the "female athlete" stories that influence the perspective of advocacy surrounding Title IX are missing. More women need to start talking about it in order to protect it. My goal is to add more guest bloggers that will promote alternative sports and sports that I don't usually cover. Also, by forming relationships with other sports bloggers, I hope to promote their content on a regular basis by linking to it and adding commentary.

4. Who do you consider to be your role models? In your opinion, what makes a good role model? On that same note, would you consider yourself a role model? Why or why not?

I'd consider Billie Jean King a role model. As a female athlete, she created a movement, which led to the founding of the Women's Sports Foundation, and many important advocacy efforts which have protected girls' right to participate in sport.

I see myself as a role model when I coach. (I coach an AAU team of 14 year old girls). Coaching is the most rewarding experience ever. I can tell when they're looking up to me, and being in that type of position is awesome. My hope is that I continue to grow professionally, colleagues may see me as a role model. As that starts to happen, I hope to teach younger employees as much of what I know so that they can continue what I've already been doing. It's kind-of like "passing the torch" - and it's so important for society.

5. If you were asked to inspire young people to become involved in sports, what would you say? What do you believe is the best way to inspire young people?

The best way to empower other people is to give them the tools they need to become successful. You can't push. As long as you provide young people the opportunity to play sports (or do something else they may love), you're doing your job. That's why Title IX is so important (it gives girls opportunities).

Then, if young people want to work hard at something, you should do everything you can to make that happen by teaching them and working with them. You should show them role models. If a young girl likes women's basketball, you should follow the WNBA. Take her to games (if you can afford it). Allow her to aspire to something. If she likes to dance, take her to a ballet, show her what she could become, with hard work.


Lindsay said...

Good interview. I also enjoy the Because I Played Sports blog. Megan is really good at coming up with some great topics such as her mascots and masculinity post. And I would not have found her blog if it weren't for you.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Nice! I'm glad that I can point readers in the direction of quality blogs!