Early Years

In the beginning, women at the University of Kansas could only participate in athletics via sports clubs. The Tennis Club (1892) is the earliest one documented at KU. Later on, students in the Women’s Department of Physical Education (formed in 1893) were able to participated in intramural sports, but it was not until 1912 with the establishment of the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) that a system for organized women’s athletics began. The faculty of the Women’s Department of Physical Education understood the benefits women received from athletics, but society as a whole did not. As stated in the 1929 Jayhawker, “Nothing typified the complete emancipation of the modern girl from her old shackles of prudishness and ultra-conventionality as much as the place she has taken in the field of athletics.”