In recognition National Girls & Women in Sports day on Feb. 1,of this day, AU Athletics hosted clinics for children in the area after the women’s basketball game on Jan. 28.
The women’s basketball, women’s soccer, volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse, cheer and wrestling teams all had athletes in Bender Arena to instruct kids. The kids were split into groups and rotated groups to learn about each sport. The event was advertised as specifically being led by representatives of each women’s sports team, although the all-male wrestling team was also present.
“I remember being in their shoes and I always used to be intimidated – especially with the older girls in high school. We’re gonna be the sweetest people we could to these girls because, as we know, they have dreams and goals just like we did, and we want to help them reach their fullest potential,” said junior basketball player Emily Johns.
The event meant a lot to both the athletes and the children attending as the kids gathered for autographs from the women’s basketball and cheer teams afterward.
“It’s really exciting, especially as a sport that’s predominantly a female sport in the U.S., it’s really exciting that we get to have a specific event that's geared towards encouraging young girls to take part in field hockey, in basketball and all these other sports too,” said junior field hockey player Bryn Underwood. “So being able to have all these kids, even little boys, come out and try out field hockey, because a lot of people don't know field hockey is also a boys’ sport too, so to see these kids go out and enjoy themselves and try something new it’s really exciting, and I'm glad that we have the opportunity to celebrate, especially little girls.”
The event was aimed at young girls, but a number of boys were also in attendance learning from female athletes.
“It’s really great to see not only the little girls out here but little boys, too, brothers, coming out here supporting the girls’ basketball team, which doesn't always get as much light as they should,” said freshman lacrosse player Reagan Murdoch.
This article was edited by Delaney Hoke and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Natasha LaChac, Sophia Rocha and Sophie Myers