WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Exactly 50 years ago, a civil rights law sustained a legacy for millions of aspiring women and girls across the US.

Today marks Title IX’s 50th anniversary.

It took just 37 words in that statute to shape the face of athletics, and men aren’t the only ones crossing the finish line with a medal or making the scoreboard; so are women.

Title IX fights against sex discrimination and is the reason many women like Carrie Hanna and Shanley Woods compete today.

Without that statute, Woods believes she wouldn’t be the collegiate level basketball player she is today.

“I don’t think I would be able to have this opportunity to play at the college level without Title IX.”

Shanley Woods, Wheeling University basketball player

And same with Hanna. She’s also a female athlete who’s competed as a student, coached soccer for over two decades, and now, with Title IX’s help, she’s an Athletic Director at Wheeling University.

“It was very difficult. I think the coaching opportunities came because people were cognizant and there was a big push by the NCA to support Title IX endeavors.”

Carrie Hanna, Wheeling University Athletic Director

And she hopes others are inspired by Title IX to achieve what she and Woods have done.

“You can do it. I mean, I did wonder can you be a mom? Can you be an athletic director? And you can. There are opportunities out there and you just need to be clear on what your values are and what your path is and make steps towards that.”

Carrie Hanna, Wheeling University Athletic Director