By Gabby Guerard
The combination of over 100 girls from the Springfield community, four women’s sports teams, and the one and only President Mary-Beth Cooper created an empowering morning, loaded with competition, sports, and plenty of girl power. They all united in the field house Saturday, when Springfield College hosted the annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Throughout the morning, girls aged kindergarten through sixth grade were able to get a taste of what it is like to play sports inside a college athletic complex. Led by the Springfield College women’s tennis, field hockey, volleyball, and soccer teams, the girls rotated through a series of clinics where they participated in various games and skills competitions.
The complex was electrified right from the start, when Cooper opened with a brief, yet powerful, welcome emphasizing the importance of women setting high goals and pursuing them in life. Cooper knows this concept well, as she is the first female to be president of Springfield College, of the 13 total to hold this responsibility.
To emphasize her point, Cooper reached out to the athletes for a firsthand perspective. The field hockey team described what it means to be a Springfield College athlete in one word, where each player was able to provide a personalized answer, with responses varying from “gratifying” to “family” to “proud.”
Hopeful to inspire the young athletes, this event also allowed Springfield students to demonstrate the college’s humanics philosophy: the education of students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others. The teams depended on their leadership skills to do just that, through engaging the community with athletics.
In an activity often thought to be dominated by males, the Pride came together to showcase that girls can be a major part of the sports community too. This empowering event left many girls excited about athletics, and even opened possibilities about new sports to play, after having tried them with the Springfield teams.