“Play, Believe, Achieve”

25th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebrates female athletes

(Image courtesy of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport)

Ohio Wesleyan’s female athletes will team up with girls in the Delaware community for the 25th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) on Saturday, February 5.

The theme for this year is “Play, Believe, Achieve.” And with the help of the Battling Bishops, some girls may learn sports they have never played before.

Members of the Ohio Wesleyan women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, softball, and volleyball teams will teach girls in grades K-6 fundamentals of their sports. The girls will rotate around all four stations and learn some new moves before joining the OWU athletes for a pizza picnic (sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Delaware County). The participants will have the opportunity to chat with the student-athletes, some of whom may be their role models.

Then, the participants will be invited to watch as the women’s basketball team takes on Hiram at 1 p.m. At halftime of the women’s basketball game, the OWU athletes who participated in the clinic will be asked to come to center court and be recognized.

Cynthia Holliday, OWU’s assistant athletics director and head volleyball coach, is spearheading the event. She has worked to hand-deliver invitations to girls from local schools and is hoping for a good turnout.

Holliday says she has been involved with NGWSD at Ohio Wesleyan for about seven years. She says the program has evolved since its inception at OWU, and the clinic was her idea to get student-athletes involved more.

“Our women have a ball,” she said.

According to the NGWSD website, the national celebration began 1987. It was a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women’s sports. Hyman died of Marfan’s Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since then, the day has continued to stand in support of equality for women in sports and celebrate sports achievements.

Giving back to the community is no strange thing to Ohio Wesleyan athletes. Women’s basketball coach Nan Carney-DeBord and her team host several events to benefit breast cancer research, including the game against Kenyon the weekend after NGWSD.

Holliday says OWU student-athletes are very generous with their time and talents.

“When it comes to giving back, they jump in with both hands and feet and they do it.”

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s NGWSD activities.

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