NAU Athletics celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day

NAU Women's Basketball

Jan. 23, 2019

Northern Arizona Athletics Department is celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day for the seventh consecutive year by holding a free youth sports clinic and three sporting events on Feb. 2.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), a national observance celebrating the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports, will be celebrated nationally for the 33rd year. This year’s NGWSD theme is “Lead Her Forward” to honor the many ways that sports push girls and women to achieve excellence and realize their boundless potential.

“When you look at the big picture, we’re trying to shape young women to be empowered and how significant a role sports can play in any young woman’s life,” said head women’s basketball coach Loree Payne. “We definitely want to celebrate the importance of this day in any opportunity we have.”

The NGWSD events will begin with NAU Athletics’ free youth sports clinic, open to all boys and girls between kindergarten and eighth grade. Check-in begins at 11 a.m. with the clinic running from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center.

All participants must pre-register at the NAU athletics website by 5 p.m. Jan. 31.

The clinic will include instruction from a variety of NAU student-athletes, coaches and staff in sport-specific activities in rotating stations. The first 100 clinic participants will receive a free T-shirt, and food will be available for all participants at the end of the clinic.

Following the clinic, all youth participants will receive admission to the women’s basketball game against Eastern Washington at 2 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center.

The women’s basketball team will not be the only team in action. The track & field team will be hosting the Mountain T’s Invite starting at 8 a.m. in the Walkup Skydome. Meanwhile, the NAU divers will be in competition at their Lumberjack Diving Invite at the Aquatic and Tennis Complex.

NGWSD began in 1987 as a special day in Washington, D.C., to recognize women’s sports and is now celebrated annually in all 50 states. It also serves as a remembrance of Flo Hyman, an Olympic volleyball player who died of Marfan’s Syndrome in 1986, 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.

Tallie Valverde