January 29, 1998
KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University will recognize the progress of girls and women in athletic endeavors during events Thursday, Feb. 5.
The activities will mark WMU's observance of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which has been proclaimed by Congress each year since 1987. The day, which will be observed nationally on Feb. 1, serves to bring attention to the achievements and leadership of women athletes and to the challenges and issues facing females in sports.
"We want to note the achievements of women in the area of sports," says Dr. Debra S. Berkey, chairperson of the WMU Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and one of the organizers of the local observance. "Usually when people think about these accomplishments, they think about the athletes. There are so many more dimensions, when you take into account the contributions made to the development of sports over the years by coaches, administrators, trainers, boosters and others."
Activities will center around the 7 p.m. WMU vs. Marshall University women's basketball game at the University Arena. Before the game, a reception is planned for 5 p.m. in the Athletic Department Conference Room in Read Fieldhouse.
The reception will honor Deanna "Dee" Dustin-Cole, a teacher at Parchment High School. She earned her bachelor's degree from WMU's Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1968. During her undergraduate years, she excelled as an athlete in field hockey, basketball, volleyball, tennis and bowling. In addition, she was named to the 1973 U.S. field hockey team and has participated in national championships in softball, volleyball and paddleball.
Besides handling her teaching responsibilities, Dustin-Cole has coached four sports at Parchment. Her 1976 volleyball team won the first ever Michigan High School Athletic Association state championship. Her 1972-73 girls' basketball team reached the state semifinals. She was inducted into the WMU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.
Dustin-Cole was chosen by a WMU selection committee to receive a recognition award for her leadership in sports activities. She will be presented with a plaque during the reception, to which all women faculty members at WMU have been invited. Others interested in attending may contact Amy Seth at (616) 387-3759.
Also invited to the reception will be high school seniors and their parents. WMU has solicited nominations of outstanding female athletes from principals, athletic directors and coaches at 27 Greater Kalamazoo area high schools. The students will be recognized with certificates for their athletic achievements and leadership skills during halftime of the basketball game.
The local observance of National Girls and Women in Sports Day is being coordinated by WMU's Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Office of University Recreation Programs and Facilities and Division of Intercollegiate Athletics in collaboration with the Greater Kalamazoo Athletic Directors, the Kalamazoo Valley Athletic Association and the Southwest Athletic Conference.
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