WMU News

Celebration focuses achievements of female athletes

Feb. 11, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, the Girl Scouts of Glowing Embers Council and the YWCA of Kalamazoo will recognize the progress of girls and women in athletic endeavors during events Saturday, Feb. 21.

The activities, which will center around the noon WMU vs. Ohio University women's basketball game at University Arena, will mark Kalamazoo's local observance of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. In February, thousands of sports educators, coaches, athletic directors, recreation directors, association members, sponsors, students and parents across the country will show their support of the annual observance and of this year's theme, "Play Fair."

Before the WMU game, invited guests and honorees will attend an 9:30 a.m. program at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo. Guest speakers Dr. Marjorie A. Snyder, chief program and planning officer for the Women's Sports Foundation and Dr. Jody A. Brylinsky, a WMU professor of health, physical education and recreation, will address the "Play Fair" theme.

Area high school seniors and their parents are invited to the program at the Radisson. The local steering committee for the celebration has solicited nominations of outstanding female athletes from principals, athletic directors and coaches at Kalamazoo-area high schools. The students will be recognized with certificates for their athletic achievements and leadership skills during the halftime of the basketball game.

The celebration was chartered by Congress in 1986 to honor female athletic achievement and recognize the importance of sports and fitness participation for all girls and women. The next year, National Girls and Women in Sports Day was established as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women's sports. Hyman died of Marfan's Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since that time, the event has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

The local observance of National Girls and Women in Sports Day is being coordinated by a steering committee with members from WMU's Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, University Recreation and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics as well as Kalamazoo College's Department of Physical Education and Athletics, the YWCA of Kalamazoo and The Girl Scouts of Glowing Embers Council.

For more information, contact Amy Seth at (269) 387-3759 or <amy.seth@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu


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