In March, ESPN is celebrating Women’s History Month by sharing inspirational stories of young female athletes through a cross-platform initiative, culminating with a one-hour special, “Her Story” at 7 p.m. March 27 on ESPN. The special will include an interview with OU basketball stars Courtney and Ashley Paris, daughters of former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Bubba Paris.
Focusing on female athletes between the ages of 13-24, this month-long effort will kick off Sunday with an investigation into young girls and the underreporting of concussions by reporter Peter Keating (Outside the Lines, 8 a.m.). A series of vignettes, airing multiple times across ESPN’s networks, will also begin Sunday.
Other stories on “Her Story,” hosted by Hannah Storm, include:
— Teenage surfing phenom Bethany Hamilton, who returned to her sport with a vengeance after a shark attack in 2003. Despite losing her left arm, Hamilton has continued to rise in the rankings and become one of the world’s top surfers.
— Twenty years ago, the Women’s Sports Foundation released a study that determined Hispanic girls had far lower participation in sports than other ethnicities. Few studies have updated that premise. Shelley Smith looks at some of the barriers to participation as well as success stories, proving that with the right amount of family and school support, Hispanic girls may just prove to be sport’s fastest growing demographic.
— The rebirth of roller derby, which made a comeback due to a grassroots revival in Austin,
— A feature on Shoni Schimmel, a Native American teenager in Oregon who is among the top high school hoops players in the country but must deal with cultural bias and personal challenges as she heads towards her senior year.
— In addition, fans will be encouraged to post inspirational clips about themselves, a teammate, a coach or a team on ESPN.com’s dedicated Her Story page. The winning clip will be included in the special.
The March 23 issue of ESPN The Magazine cover story will focus on WNBA star Candace Parker, accompanied by an in-depth look at concussions in young girls.