FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona University Athletics Department is proud to host their National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Saturday, Feb. 4 in conjunction with the NAU women's basketball team's game versus Idaho State. This year will mark the fifth consecutive year that NAU Athletics will celebrate NGWSD – a national initiative entering its 31st year.
"Participation in sports for young girls is important," said NAU women's basketball interim head coach Robyne Bostick. "Title IX was passed in 1972 and gave young girls more opportunities than previous generations. Sports are important because the lessons they'll learn on the field or on the court can be transferred over into life. A day like this when we can encourage members in the community to start a sport or to stick with a sport will help them be successful in whatever they choose to do in life."
The National Girls and Women in Sports Day activities will begin with the department's annual youth sports clinic in the Rolle Activity Center. The clinic will be free and is open to all youth – both boys and girls – between kindergarten and eighth grade. Check-in for the clinic will start at 3:15 p.m. and will run from 4:15-5:45 p.m. The clinic will be capped, so pre-registration is strongly encouraged at the above link.
NAU student-athletes and coaches from various sports will teach sport-specific skills through activities in rotating stations. NAU's strength & conditioning staff will also speak about the importance of healthy eating habits. All clinic participants will be provided healthy snacks as well as a free t-shirt.
All clinic participants will then receive free admission to the women's basketball game at 6:30 p.m. in the Walkup Skydome at the conclusion of the clinic. Following the game, the women's basketball team will be available for a free postgame autograph session.
"As coaches we strive to be role models for our student-athletes, and it's good to see not only our student-athletes on the basketball team, but student-athletes from all of our sports be role models in the community," Bostick said. "They give young girls an example of someone to look up to. We were all in that position once when we were starting out in a sport and we looked up to someone whether they were on a high school team or in college."
National Girls and Women in Sports Day – celebrated annually across the country in all 50 states – empowers girls and women to push past their limits. The day has been encouraging participation of girls and women in sports for more than three decades now.
NGWSD started in 1987 as a special day in the nation's capital to recognize women's sports. It served as a remembrance of Flo Hyman, an Olympic volleyball player who passed away the year prior due to Marfan's Syndrome, for her athletic achievements and dedication to promoting equality for women's sports. NGWSD has since evolved into an event to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, the positive influence of participation in sports and the continued struggle for equality for women in sports.
This year's theme for National Girls and Women in Sports Day is "Expanding Opportunity." It will recognize the progress for girls and women sparked by Title IX and the effort to continue to ensure access to sports for all.
To see first-hand how NAU Athletics is expanding opportunity for not only their current student-athletes, but for all youth as it builds towards the future, join the department on Feb. 4.
Note: For parents of the clinic participants and the general fan, there will be a ticket promotion for Feb. 4's women's basketball game using the promotion code "WSPORTS" at this link. The game will be a designated White Out.