Today: Jun 17, 2024

National Girls and Women in Sports Day Event 

Jaylen Carr Sports Editor

The University Athletic Department hosted its annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day for young girls to help connect, exercise and build connections with the university’s women athletes and coaches.  

Field hockey head coach and senior woman administrator Kelley Frassinelli said: “National Girls and Women in Sports Day has been something we have been hosting for a number of years. Enabling the opportunity for young girls to be involved in sports and experience sports that they might never have an opportunity to be a part of.” 

This event was open to the public for young girls, grades one through eight. When registered inside James Moore Field House, the kids were given lunch, a free university emblemed t-shirt and cup. 

“Women’s sports aren’t always recognized, and I love that we are having this event,” intern of the athletic department and event organizer Mariah McBride said. “So, to have a day just dedicated to that is really nice and to have all the sports team, even the club sports here, is great.” 

The universities women athletes and coaches were at the event supporting young girls at each sports station. The young girls were split into groups and would rotate to different sports stations like basketball, field hockey, track and field, dance and gymnastics.  

Track and field athlete Isabella Newbury, a junior, said it’s important for young girls to know the different sports that are available other than the major sports like basketball, football and baseball, or softball.  

“Women have been growing over the past couple of years,” Newbury said.  

“It’s still extremely not relevant all the accomplishments that women have made in sports, so starting at a young age, letting little girls know hook big of an impact they can make and how important sports can be their life,” Newbury said. 

All-round gymnastics athlete Ciana Rios a sophomore, said, “It’s important to encourage young females to be a part of something like this.” 

Rios said It is vital for young girls to try different sports, especially gymnastics. “A lot of people don’t know a lot about gymnastics; they just think we just do a bunch of flips and stuff, but it’s a lot more than that.” 

McBride, the dance team captain, said, “some girls don’t have that person to look up to like a role model because I feel like these certain sports don’t get recognition like males do.” 

She said that she hoped these girls would pick a new sport from this event and be inspired to participate as they age.  

Frassinelli said, “Also, in conjunction with this year is the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, so this is a very important component to this event.” 

A guardian of one of the young girls that participated in the event, Jill Feldman, said she brought her granddaughter to this event because “she enjoys athletics and enjoys sports. Also, just for a couple of hours of activity.” 

Feldman said it was great to be back at the university, where she received her master’s degree in education. 

“Women sports hasn’t got enough exposure over the years, but it is getting better though,” said Feldman. “I think it’s good for little girls to see other girls at this level. It’s something to inspire to, and not everybody gets to see that.” 

Director of Athletics Chris Barker said this is the first time they are hosting this event in person since the pandemic.  

“This is just about the empowerment of women and really, we are dream makers,” Barker said. “Our job is to make sure that our students know who they can be, and it starts at a young age.” 

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