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20th Annual Girls and Women in Sports Day at Western New England University

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2020 - 11:28 AM All News , Arts and Sciences

More than 260 girls gathered for the 20th annual Girls and Women in Sports Day, held at Western New England (WNE) University on January 25. Girls ages 6-12 attended a free sports clinic, in exchange for a donated item to benefit domestic violence victims.

"Girls & Women in Sports Day is such an empowering and exciting day," explained WNE University women's basketball captain, senior Meghan Orbann who is majoring in Sports Management and Marketing. "The day allows women who have been playing a sport they love for years to interact with young girls just beginning to explore their love for sports." Orbann was one of over 300 student-athletes, coaches, and administrators who made the time to volunteer to make this day a reality.

Girls signed up for three clinics in everything from basketball to swimming, with some exploring sports for the first time.

"There was an undeniable excitement in the air as we walked through the doors of the Alumni Healthful Living Center," said Orbann. "As they moved from activity to activity that excitement never wavered. It was so inspiring to see the genuine love that these girls have for sports. Our college basketball team left feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on our opponent because these young girls had reminded us of the love of sports that we share."

Participants were invited to stay to watch the WNE's women's basketball team play and win against rival team, Endicott.

"Girls and Women in Sports Day is so much more than just the skills of sport. It is awesome to watch the girls being introduced to a new sport, and improve their skills while they are here," said Jenn Kolins, event coordinator, and Head Men's and Women's Tennis Coach & Outreach Coordinator for Western New England University. "Watching the inspiration and empowerment throughout the day is what is truly remarkable. The transferable skills of sport such as hard work, determination, integrity, and resiliency are the true focus of the event as well as the life lessons that will carry through their personal and professional goals."

"My hope every year is that the girls find inspiration from the day and either go out and continue playing a new sport they were introduced to, or continue with the passion and dedication of sports they were already involved in," says Kolins.

National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) began in 1987 as a special day in our nation's capital to recognize women's sports. The day united premiere organizations and elite female athletes to bring national attention to the promise of girls and women in sports. In 1987, NGWSD also served as a remembrance of Olympic volleyball player, Flo Hyman, for her athletic achievements and dedication to promoting equality for women's sports; Hyman died of Marfan's Syndrome in 1986. NGWSD has since evolved into an event to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, the positive influence of sports participation and the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.