By Irene Rotondo
This past Saturday, approximately 150 girls aged from kindergarten through sixth grade gathered together to participate in sports-oriented activities in Dana Gymnasium on the campus of Springfield College. This event occurred as a means to celebrate National Women and Girls in Sports Day.
Beginning at 8 a.m., the children trickled into the gym and were sorted into groups by age, then put into stations where they could practice drills and games with the “big girls”- that is, with Springfield College female student-athletes.
These women, guided by their coaches, played with the children in games such as passing a volleyball back and forth, learning to maneuver a field hockey stick and ball, or attempting to hit a softball through a hula hoop.
Springfield women’s soccer Head Coach John Gibson said, “I think it’s a great opportunity for young girls to see role models, to see other women who have achieved athletically and who have made their way into higher education [to] pursue careers.”
He added, “I’m sure the little girls are not thinking of that (presently), but that’s the environment they’re being exposed to, and I think that’s really important, especially in the world we live in today.”
Freshman Briana Tovar, a libero for the women’s volleyball team and a Health Sciences major, said, “Seeing girls that are starting to find what they’re passionate about at such a young age is something amazing to be a part of and I’m lucky I’m here with them today. Those little girls are the future for women in sports.”
National Women and Girls in Sports Day is a holiday celebrated across the U.S.A. to promote equality of the genders, especially in the area of athletics where women are often overlooked. This year marks the holiday’s 33rd anniversary and the fifth time that Springfield College has hosted the free clinic.
Photo Courtesy Springfield College Marketing & Communications