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California approves girl’s flag football as an official sport

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CNN, KYMA/KECY) - Female student-athletes across California scored a huge win Friday.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the statewide body that governs high school athletics, voted unanimously Friday to sanction high school girl's flag football.

Starting in the fall, excitement is through the roof, and longtime coach Letticia Gilmore couldn't be more thrilled about it.

"To see another all girls sport be instituted in CIF is absolutely awesome and incredible."

Coach Gilmore is celebrating the news that the CIF voted unanimously to make girl's flag football an official high school sport.

"It's going to take off. I just sense it, and I feel it. I'm so excited!"

Benefit of athletics

As CEO & head coach of "Solid Ground Sports Academy," a nonprofit group offering no-cost sports training for kids, including the all-girls flag football program, "She Rocks," Coach Gilmore sees, first-hand, the benefit of athletics.

"On the field and off the field," Gilmore said.

In all facets of girls' lives.

"Developing leadership skills, learning how to work together as a team, that parents have seen their daughters more confident, doing well in school," Gilmore spoke.

Kicking off in the fall, schools statewide will spend the next several months figuring out scheduling and logistics for the 7-on-7 games.

"This is not your mother's powder puff football," Gilmore further stated.

Taking the sport to a new level

Supporters, like Coach Gilmore, are praising the female athletes as they take the sport to a new level...

"This is not for the faint of heart."

Breaking through barriers...

"They're not coming to be cute. They're not coming with their hair and their nails done."

And taking off running, proving their strength in this sport.

"They're coming with eye black on, headband, cleats and gloves, and ready to get down and dirty and play some football," Gilmore concluded.

California is now among a handful of other states that have flag football as part of their high school athletics programs.

Article Topic Follows: California News

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