WMU News

WMU holds 11th annual observance of Women in Sport Day

Jan. 29, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The accomplishments and continued progress of women athletes will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 1, when Western Michigan University holds its 11th observance of National Girls and Women in Sport Day.

For the second year, Kalamazoo College is joining with WMU and area athletic directors to honor high school females whose athletic achievements, academic accomplishments and community involvement showcase their outstanding leadership skills and potential to succeed in future endeavors. The luncheon event, which is open to the public, will take place from noon to 2 p.m. in the Fetzer Center. Tickets for the luncheon may be purchased at the Fetzer Center beginning at 11 a.m.

Kelcey Carlson, a member of the news staff of Kalamazoo's WWMT-TV, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. Dawnanne Corbit, senior vice president for Standard Federal Bank, will be guest speaker. The theme of this year's gathering is "Succeed in Sports--Lead in Life."

National Girls and Women in Sport Day draws attention to the achievements and leadership of women athletes and to the challenges and issues facing females in sports. The Women's Sports Foundation began the national observance in 1987 in remembrance of Olympic volleyball star Flo Hyman, a crusader for equality in women's sports, who died in January 1986.

A gifted athlete, Hyman died of a congenital heart condition, but her spirit and commitment to excellence has been carried forward through the great progress of the women's sports movement. In 1987, Congress approved a commemorative bill declaring Feb. 4 as National Girls and Women in Sport Day. Since then, thousands of events have been staged across the United States.

The first WMU observance came 10 years ago in Oakland Gym. Through a collaborative effort involving the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, University Recreation and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, the event has evolved from an all-star alumni/community basketball game to a high school honor award program and the awarding of the HPER Department Alumni Recognition Award.

High school award recipients were nominated by their coaches, teachers and school administrators. This year's honorees and the high schools they attend are: Athens--Jaime Titus; Buchanan--Jennifer E. Klutts, Tiffany M. Griffin; Delton-Kellogg--Lauren Cooper, Christina Charron; Galesburg-Augusta--Alaina Case, Laura Patton; Gull Lake--Mariko Sweetnam, Lisa M. Campbell, Michelle Krob, Nikki McGahan; Hackett Catholic Central--Carly Sims; Harper Creek--Season R. Reinitz, Suzanne Beaver, Maggie Cooper; Kalamazoo Central--Mauri Davies; Loy Norrix--Tessa Prior-Pullins; Marcellus--Abigail M. Geegan, Thelma R. Ganser, Kara E. Smeltzer; Mattawan--Nicole Rosenhagen; Otsego--Sherry Ott, Candace Knight; Portage Central--Adrienne Hooper, Kally Graham; Schoolcraft--Erika J. Ryskamp, Carly VanDyke, Elizabeth A. Werme, Melissa A. Racette; Three Rivers--Kimberly L. Clemence; Vicksburg--Janessa K. Waddell, Ashley M. Chesser; White Pigeon--Amber Lanning; Young Adult Program--Teresa Sleep.

The students and their parents will be honored along with alumna Doris Pipkens, a 1975 graduate of WMU, at a faculty/staff reception at the Fetzer Center. A health and physical education instructor and coach at Holt Public Schools, Pipkens will be presented with the Alumni Recognition Award. The HPER department also will present a special recognition award to Patricia Lemanski in honor of her many accomplishments in the Senior Olympics and her service as a coach in the former Women's Physical Education Department at WMU.

For more information about the event, call (269) 387-2710.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
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