Sparking the Next Generation of Athletes
Annual Athletic Clinic Honors Girls in Sports
Athletic Director Julie Schroeder-Biek spent the week leading up to the National Girls and Women in Sports Day clinic in eager anticipation. Knowing that 125 active 6- to 12-year-old girls would be at Angela Athletic Facility, laughing and learning about sports, she was overjoyed.
Since 2015, Saint Mary’s has offered the clinic for local girls to align with the national event. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the students are back.
Celebrated through the Women’s Sports Foundation, NGWSD recognizes student-athletes, champion athletes, coaches, administrators and lawmakers committed to providing equitable access to sports for all girls and women.
Schroeder-Biek says it’s a natural commitment for Saint Mary’s as an all-women’s college to share our love of sports with the next generation of girls. As the College continues to provide equitable opportunities for women and girls throughout their lives, Schroeder-Biek says this athletics clinic is perfectly aligned with that ongoing work.
“Offering the opportunity for little girls ages 6 - 12 years old the chance to try out sports that they never may have been exposed to before is very empowering and fun,” she said. “We want to kindle a love for sport in them early!”
The 2023 NGWSD wraps up a year-long celebration of Title IX’s 50th anniversary. According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, this year’s event will serve as the kickoff for the next 50 as communities “build on the landmark law so future generations understand their rights to equal access and opportunity.”
At the opening ceremony, Schroeder-Biek explained to those who came to Friday’s event that we are celebrating 50 years of Title IX. “I shared this is the law that gave girls and women access to sports and explained why this access is important,” she said. “Sports teach us so many skills that benefit us in life: confidence, commitment, teamwork, resiliency, work ethic, leadership. And, they're fun!”
Her wish is that students left the event with a new (or renewed) enthusiasm for athletics. “We hope they saw, through our student-athletes and coaches, that they love their sports! My hope is that this love of sport shines through as we work with and teach these little girls about the sports that we offer. We want these little girls to get excited about sports and keep playing!”
February 6, 2023