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New cable show puts focus on women athletes

Female athletes do not often get the chance to sit down for in-depth interviews, but “Female Sports Experiences,” an AT&T cable access program that debuted this month, is the perfect place for them to finally share some of their stories.

The weekly show is a collaboration of producer Will McClure and host Mike Machado, who are interested in putting focus on a largely untapped segment of the sports world. Each episode will feature an interview with an athlete or coach with ties to the Portland area.

“Men are sometimes intimidated by strong women,” Machado cited as one of the major reasons a show of this nature has rarely been attempted. “The questions we’re asking are focusing on Title IX and the effect it’s had personally, on individual female athletes.”

As an education amendment enacted by Congress in 1972, Title IX basically states that any academic institution sponsoring an athletic program is required to provide equal opportunities for both sexes. This regulation has made it easier for many of the outstanding current female athletes to succeed in what has traditionally been considered a male arena.

Machado, a former sports announcer from Honolulu, recognizes the obstacles many women have to overcome in order to be taken seriously as athletes.

Recently, he taped a show with Olympic soccer gold medalist and Hillsboro native, Tiffeny Milbrett. He found the interview interesting because, “She’s known for being outspoken. She knows that she is probably on the short-list of great soccer players and, if she were a man, she’d be making millions.”

An upcoming “Female Sports Experiences” will also feature an interview with Portland State University’s own Jeff Mozzochi. He’s the four-time national championship coach of the women’s volleyball team. It was Machado’s first TV interview and he had nothing but good things to say about Mozzochi.

“The guy knows the game and the school’s lucky to have him back,” Machado said. ” It’s just going to be a matter of time before they’re winning again. He’s definitely respected in the national coaching community.”

Seven episodes of the show have already been taped. McClure and Machado are committed to produce five more, which will allow “Female Sports Experiences” to air through September. Milbrett’s fellow Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion teammate Shannon MacMillan will be making an appearance later this month.

“Female Sports Experiences” airs five times a week: Monday at 9 p.m., Wednesday at 10 a.m., Friday at 7 p.m. pm, and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. on channels 9 or 25 on AT&T cable.