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Annual Girls and Women in Sports Day Held on Campus

By freshman Daniel Letendre FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2017 - 3:03 PM All News

"hard work, self-discipline, dedication, motivation - hallmarks of an athlete"

The 17th Annual Western New England University Girls and Women in Sports Day was held on February 4, in the Alumni Healthful Living Center. More than 100 girls from western Massachusetts participated along with many of the University’s athletic coaches and student athletes. The event was free and designed for girls from ages 7 to 12 in the greater Springfield area.

“We hold this event each year to introduce aspiring young athletes to a number of sports and to show the spirit and the connection that our campus has to offer outside of the classroom,” explained Jeanne Hart-Steffes, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

“By participating in sports girls gain self confidence and it allows them to grow into strong individuals,” remarked Nicole Chaszar, Head Women's Basketball Coach. “This is an exciting and fun day for all of us each year. It gives girls an opportunity to try out new sports and discover the benefits and fun they can have from participating.”

Participants had the opportunity to select two sport clinics from seven offered; basketball, softball, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, swimming, and dance. Western New England coaches and varsity athletes supervise and instruct all the clinics. In addition, recreation time is made available for swimming, racquetball, and squash with basic instruction.

“Along with teaching the girls athletic skills, our goal is to impart to these young athletes the high standards of being a successful student-athlete, such as hard work, self-discipline, dedication, motivation, and then how to bring those values into the classroom,” says Jennifer Kolins, the University’s Men's and Women's Tennis Coach and Community Outreach Coordinator.

Senior Health Science major and star tennis player Kim Phu coorodinates the nearly 300 student athletes who volunteer for the event each year. Participants were encouraged to bring a personal hygiene product as a donation, and those items were donated to a local domestic violence shelter.

Following the sports clinic, the girls and their families were encouraged to stay and watch the Golden Bear University teams in action, as the Women's and Men's Basketball Teams took on Wentworth Institute.