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Girls Tennis

Billie Jean King became the number one tennis player in the world after she won 39 Grand Slams including 20 titles at Wimbledon. She also defeated Bobby Riggs, her male opponent, in “The Battle of the Sexes,” which was one of the unforgettable moments in the history of sports at a time when women were not expected to win.

King was the founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation in 1974, which is dedicated to making sure that all females have equal access to sports and any physical activities and the life-long benefits they provide. At the Foundation’s recent November 2018 New York Athletes Leadership Connection, King was celebrated for her 75th birthday, and she spoke at a Question and Answer session.

At the session, she concentrated on how the involvement in sports aids girls in their leadership development, why leadership by women is important and why it matters, and what her general life advice is for girls and women.

King has long been recognized as one of the most highly respected athletes of all time as well as a change maker of the 20th century. Following are some of her own personal insights from that session as she continues her diligent work as a champion for equality and social change:

King says that sports involvement is what gave her confidence in the battle to overcome her shyness when she felt like she didn’t fit in as a child. King urges girls and women to believe in themselves, what strengths they possess, and then put those strengths to work in a variety of ways both in their careers and in their personal lives.

Sports also teach important life lessons and the way to handle success and bounce back from failure with resilience and the understanding that failure is really feedback that allows learning from life experiences. One should not be afraid of failure.

King encourages girls and women to never underestimate themselves. Data has proven that if a business has more women on its board, net profits generally go up 16 percent. Therefore, business leaders should want to hear the different ideas that women have to increase the bottom line and the overall success of the business.

Remember that, as a female, whatever you care passionately about, you can indeed make a difference if you apply yourself and your time and your efforts.