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Saint Mary’s highlights Girls and Women in Sports

| Monday, February 15, 2016

Saint Mary’s hosted a second annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) clinic Friday in the Angela Athletic Facility. According to a College press release, the Women’s Sports Foundation established NGWSD 30 years ago as a way to celebrate extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports.

Saint Mary’s director of athletics, Julie Schroeder-Biek, said the event is in celebration of a national day of sports. Colleges, universities and high schools are encouraged to do days like this and expose girls to sports, she said.

All eight varsity sports participated in the clinic, Schroeder-Biek said. College athletes volunteered their time to be counselors for the two and a half hour camp.

The camp is free and open to girls between the ages of six and twelve, and around 70 girls attended the event, according to Schroeder-Biek.

Schroeder-Biek said she applied for a grant through the NCAA conference to fund the event. The event was designed to let the young girls participate in four 30-minute clinics, she said.

“They can choose which sports to play when they register,” Schroeder-Biek said. “They have the option of all eight sports, and they rank their top four. Then what we try to do is put them in at least their top three choices.”

She said the 30-minute clinics are basic and designed by the college athletes to be introductions into the particular sport. The girls may not have been introduced to all of the sports prior to the clinic, such as lacrosse.

“A lot of the little girls have never played lacrosse before because its such a new sport to the midwest so it gives them introductory skills to lacrosse and all of the sports,” she said.

Schroeder-Biek said the goal of the event was to ignite the love of activity and sport in the girls. She said the event allows girls to dream big and interact with the college athletes and coaches.

“If girls are exposed to sport at a young age and they have fun with it and see the value in it, they’re so much more likely to carry on with an active lifestyle,” she said. “Even if it’s not an organized sport, just being active is so important.”

Schroeder-Biek said the clinic fits into the athletic department’s mission because it is about sharing talents and service.

“It’s kind of a give back night,” she said. “We all have been given some wonderful God given talents and we want to share that with these little girls and show them all that they can be.”

Teresa Guerrero, a senior lacrosse player, said she volunteered because it gives the girls an opportunity to try out sports.

“I think sports promote teamwork and friendship among girls so its important to have those things but also helps them stay active and fit and healthy throughout their life,” Guerrero said.

Schroeder-Biek said she hopes to continue holding this event every year.

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About Alex Winegar

A junior at Saint Mary's, Alex is a Communicative Sciences and Disorders major. She serves as the Saint Mary's co-associate news editor. Alex enjoys traveling, food and spending time in "The Mitten."

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