A Female Athlete in a Men’s Athletic World: A Discussion with Beth Richardson, ‘79
In this interview, Beth Richardson, a member of the basketball and outdoor track teams at Bowdoin from 1975-1979, discusses her time on campus as a female student-athlete during the first years of coeducation at the College. To hear Beth’s take on how the administration viewed women’s athletics, her relationship with her teammates and Coach Dick Mersereau, and the women’s basketball team’s second-class citizenship, listen below.
Audio: click tracks(s) below to begin listening
Time: Part 1, 00:01:35
Quotation: [In reference to bonds shared with teammates] “…so, an incredible sense of camaraderie throughout all 4 years, a sense of support, you always knew there was someone you could talk to…it was like having a bunch of sisters.”
Time: Part 1; 00:04:20
Quotation: [In reference to a comparison of the women and men’s basketball teams] “We put up with a lot. We were definitely second class citizens [in comparison to the men].”
Time: Part 4, 00:26:35
Quotation: [In reference to final comments on experiences as a female student-athlete at Bowdoin] “You know, it was kind of an interesting balance between having a group of women who you really loved and loved you, and having virtually no recognition by the College. It was really odd. You know, to be that tight and to work that hard, but not have the College see you as a serious athlete. But, we had a good time.”
Citation: I, Jill Henrikson, interviewed Beth Richardson on November 4, 2011 at her home in Portland, Maine. We discussed both Beth’s experiences as a member of the women’s basketball and outdoor track team, as well as her identification as a student-athlete on the Bowdoin campus from 1975-1979.