(Published Feb. 14, 2007, 9:38 a.m.)
Twenty-four participants and 14 student-athletes took part in the 15th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day held in the Williams Center at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on February 3.
The event is part of an annual national celebration started by the Women's Sports Foundation in 1987 to honor Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to ensure equality for women's sports.
Since Hyman's death, the day has evolved into an opportunity to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.
The theme of the event was "Throw Like A Girl, Lead Like a Champion." The event featured five 15-minute sessions where participants could take part in hands-on demonstrations of five sports including softball, volleyball, tennis, soccer and wrestling.
Each of these sessions involved an activity that would expose participants to that particular sport. The wrestling demonstration featured a video that was sent to UW-W head wrestling Coach Tim Fader from his professional organization, the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The video explained how women's wrestling has grown as there are now about 7,000 women competing in the United States.
Following the sessions, participants were able to attend the women's basketball game against UW-Superior. During half-time of the game, two participants had their names drawn to win free admission to volleyball or basketball summer camps at UW-Whitewater. Participants were also able to participate in a shoot-around during half-time.
After the game, participants had the opportunity to get autographs from UW-Whitewater women's basketball players and refreshments were provided.
Amy Edmonds, senior woman administrator at UW-Whitewater, said overall the event was very successful.
"All of the participants reported they had a lot of fun and look forward to next year. They especially enjoyed getting autographs by the UW-W women's basketball team and being able to slap their hands when they entered the gym for the first time. The parents and coaches also had an amazing experience," Edmonds said.