The William Smith College Athletic Department will celebrate the 29th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) on Saturday, Feb. 7.
“As a former athlete, I can see how sports made such a positive impact on my life and shaped me into the person I am today,” said Herons Assistant Lacrosse Coach Morgan Achilles. “Now as a coach, I am able to see that same impact on our student-athletes at William Smith. Herons are strong, competitive, disciplined teammates and leaders that serve as wonderful role models for local girls and young women.”
The day’s events will begin in the Bristol Field House, where William Smith Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach Brighde Dougherty, as well as many Heron student-athletes, will conduct a leadership workshop titled “Girl Power-Unlock your Leadership.” The workshop is free, and begins at 11 a.m.
Following the workshop, lunch, from 11:45 to 12:15, will be provided to all participants. Girls are encouraged to bring sneakers and shin guards for a soccer clinic hosted by current Heron student-athletes. In addition to the soccer clinic, there will be a William Smith squash match starting at 1 p.m. All girls are invited to cheer on the Herons.
At 1:45 p.m., the day’s festivities will move to Bristol Gymnasium to cheer on the Heron basketball team as they take on conference foe Rensselaer in a 2 p.m. tipoff. Admission to the game is free.
Girls will also receive a voucher for free popcorn, and face painting will be available to all fans prior to the game. During halftime, girls will be invited to participate in relay races and shooting contests on the floor. Immediately following the conclusion of the contest, girls will be invited to take a tour of the Carver-Delaney Basketball Team Room where members of the William Smith basketball team will sign autographs.
Starting at 10:30 a.m. parents must check-in by filling out a registration form for their children. Parents will not be required to stay, and are encouraged to pick up their children at the conclusion of the William Smith basketball game. NGWSD events are open to all age groups.
NGWSD began as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women’s sports. Since Hyman’s death from Mafan’s Syndrome while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan in 1986, NGWSD has evolved into a day to not only acknowledge the past, but also recognize the current sports achievements as well as the positive influence of sports participation and continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.
The theme for this year’s NGWSD is Game On!
During the 2014 fall semester, the 263 William Smith student-athletes compiled a collective grade point average of 3.34. Twenty-five Herons attained a 4.0 or higher GPA.
In the athletic arena, since the start of the 2011-12 academic year, William Smith has won 11 conference championships, appeared in 10 NCAA championship events, and won the 2013 NCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship.