The 27th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day
was held February 6th. The purpose of Women in Sports Day is to promote
awareness and support for females who are currently competitive in sports and
to grow the women’s game.
Stacey White, the head women’s volleyball coach, says
it is a day to reflect on women who have worked so hard to pave the way for
females to have the opportunity to participate in sports.
“Sports is such a big part of my life, and I could not
imagine my life without it, so I think this day really helps remind women how
far we have come in sports and how fortunate we are to have these opportunities,”
Ann Ninnemann, the head women’s hockey coach, thinks it
is a great way to encourage females to be a part of sports.
“Athletics and sports can offer many life lessons women
won’t get elsewhere. Competition, independence, work ethic, teamwork and
leadership are a few key examples to what women can learn and develop while
participating in sports,” Ninnemann said.
White would agree.
“I enjoy seeing each individual grow in areas outside
of their sport as a result of the confidence and skills they gain through their
participation in volleyball,” White said.
Women’s volleyball participation has been increasing
each year with the success of the U.S. women in beach volleyball and hard court
volleyball in the past decade.
“Volleyball’s popularity has also increased as well,
making it a very fun sport to be involved in,” said White.
Participation in women’s hockey has also increased.
“The women’s game of hockey has definitely grown over
the years. The quality of the game has also improved. On the other hand, there
are many people out there who don’t give their children the opportunity to play
the game because ‘it’s too expensive.’ Hockey is a great game for both males
and females to participate in and learn many core values that will last a
lifetime,” said Ninnemann.
Annie Wetter, the women’s faculty athletic
representative, says that since she was a kid, women’s involvement in athletics
has grown tremendously.
“Women are showing that they’re as competitive and
interested in athletics as men. They enjoy the college and life experience just
as much and benefit from it,” Wetter said.
Wetter also serves as a resource for student athletes
who feel pressured balancing academics and athletics.
“Some students that aren’t involved in sports don’t
realize how much of a challenge it is to balance out athletics and academics.
I’m here for students to talk to when they have scheduling conflicts or when
they feel pressured,” Wetter said.
White believes that women’s sports will continue to
grow in its popularity. Wetter hopes that someday women won’t need a special
day to be noticed and that Women in Sports Day will just be a reflection of
“I think Women in Sports Day has made a difference in
bringing awareness to sports on the women’s side and has helped people
appreciate how far we have come and the direction we still need to go in the
future,” White said.
“I encourage more people to get involved and raise
awareness that women’s athletics still has room to grow and improve with
continued support and advocacy,” Ninneman said.