Upgrades brought to annual hosting of the Girls and Women in Sports Day
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
On Saturday, Moore Field House hosted the annual “Girls and Women In Sports Day,” a national initiative, and young girls were lead through training drills along with members of various campus athletic teams and clubs. Athletes from the soccer, field hockey, track and field, softball, volleyball, cheerleading, dance, lacrosse and gymnastics all came out to show their support and enthusiasm.
Junior softball pitcher and outfielder Delaney Turner said, “It is a pretty cool event. There are kids ranging from they are already playing softball or another sport to never done any sports in their lives, so just introducing being athletic and active is pretty cool.”
Girls ranging from elementary to middle school competed in groups at various sports stations for about a two hour period. Student-athletes also stayed with their groups so they could get to know each other, one of the changes field hockey coach and senior woman administrator Kelley Frassinelli put in place this year.
“I have taken over as the senior woman administrator with running this event and we have just done a few different things with it this year. We have done certificates for the kids this year because we thought it was really important for them to have documentation of their day,” Frassinelli said. “We are just trying to bring more unity and have the kids more involved with what is going on.”
While she has held the role of senior woman administrator for the past several years, the previous main director of this event used to be under the former associate athletic director of communications, Michael Kobylanski, who left the university earlier this year to accept the position of head athletic director at UConn-Avery Point.
Frassinelli said it was “super important” that this year’s event not only featured NCAA Division II women’s sports that are run on campus but club teams, like the cheerleading and dance team, as well.
“They are also a part of campus and athletics should continue that conduit with all the other campus clubs and organizations,” she said. “It is something that we need to do a lot more of.”
This being the first year the dance team was part of the event, the day’s participants were welcome to stay and perform alongside the team during their halftime performance at the women’s basketball game as well.
“My team and I were very excited to be part of such a great event,” senior Tia-Simone Gardner said. “Dancing with them during the halftime show was so much fun and we were slightly surprised with how quickly they picked up the routine. It was a great experience.”
Senior field hockey player Emily Stross said she has even noticed some of the same girls come back to this event year after-year.
“I have done this for four years and I see a lot of the same faces,” Stross said. “It just gets better every year — organizationally I liked the times we had the girls for and it was put together really well.”
Turner said the rotating groups of girls got smaller to allow for a more personal experience between the kids and the student-athletes.
“We can actually teach them all the qualities of softball whereas before we had not really been able to get through all the little stations,” she said. “They are learning more instead of just kind of watching.”
Photo Credit: August Pelliccio