The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Photo+sourced+from+MCLA+Athletics.
Photo sourced from MCLA Athletics.

On Saturday, February 3rd, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts held its annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day clinic. According to the MCLA Athletics site, “National Girls and Women in Sports day began in 1987 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, National Girls and Women in Sports Day has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements.”  This day is celebrated all across the United States through various events and activities meant to promote girls’ and women’s involvement in this country. Normally, the athletics department holds separate sports clinics for girls, grades 3rd through eighth, and women.

The girls’ clinics are the school’s way of honoring the meaning of this day by helping promote girls’ and women’s participation in sports. These sports clinics would be taught by MCLA Athletic groups on campus including, but not limited MCLA Varsity Sports teams such as Volleyball, Basketball, etc. This year they were supposed to have a Basketball clinic, a Volleyball clinic, and for the first time a Step clinic, taught by our school’s Step team, neXXus, however, they unfortunately had to cancel these clinics this year due to the lack of girls to be signed up for them. Dot Houston, the Associate Athletic Director for Administration said that next year the athletics department will, “Increase their marketing and start it earlier,” in the hope to prevent having to cancel girls’ clinics in the year to follow. Houston also expressed hope for improving the number of girls registered for clinics next year due to participants from the women’s clinic offering to volunteer and help spread the word about next year’s clinic to the greater area, including in cities such as Pittsfield.

The women’s clinic is an annual Pickleball tournament that has continuously found success in terms of the number of people who register and participate. This year the women’s pickleball tournament had around 33 people in attendance, including 31 people who registered for the event as well as a few volunteers. The tournament was led by Leia Miller, the Director of Pickleball at Bousquet Sport. Bousquet Sport is an organization that, according to its website, seeks “to provide a welcoming and positive platform for community connection, personal growth, and all things wellness.”

According to Houston the National Girls and Women in Sports Day clinics are very important, not just to help nurture young girls’ love of sports, but also for the women in attendance. She talked about how, “Many women did not have the chance to participate in sports at the high school and/or collegiate level.” It wasn’t until 1972, with the passing of Title IX, that it was  determined that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX had a huge impact on various aspects of girls’ and women’s lives, including allowing them access to higher education, but it is most commonly associated with women’s participation in sports.

To finish off National Girls and Women in Sports Day the MCLA Women’s Basketball team play against Bridgewater State University, with a half-time performance by the MCLA Dance team. The game ended with an unfortunate 59 to 23 loss for the Trailblazers. The top two leaders in points in this game for the Trailblazers were Forward number 22, Hailey Peabody, with 10 points, and Guard number 11, Zaylee Ramos, with 8 points. This game was not just an ending to Nation Girls and Women in Sports Day here on campus but was also the beginning of the school’s Black History Month Celebration. Walking into the game you would find tables that held Black History trivia. If you answered a question about the topic of Black History Month, such as ‘Why is Black History Month in February’, you could get a Black Lives Matter t-shirt along with grey masks with the Black Power symbol on them.

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Em Marlay-Wright, Staff Writer

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