Why No Team Sports?

Janette Shaffer Alpaugh helped to organize sports teams for WAVES in the south. But she also helped to start alternatives to traditional exercises at the training centers as well.

We were at Smith, with a nice gymnasium. I kept thinking, “Why don’t we have some sports?”  Because we took classes and we’d go down for marching and some calisthenics. But that was that.  So I kept thing, “Well, you’ve got all these other young people. Why can’t we be trying basketball or something?”  So I went to the lady, head officer, “Isn’t there some time we could schedule some basketball?  Anybody who shows up could just play.”  And she said, “Oh, that’s a good idea.  I don’t know why we don’t do it.” So they fixed something up for Sundays when you had free time.

I think because I did that (laughs) — I didn’t think that was anything unusual. I did that because I wanted to play.

The photo comes from a Navy post card set produced about the Hunter College boot camp. It’s from the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

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