Norwich celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day 2003

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February 6 marked the 17th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) in America. In honor of the occasion, members of Norwich's Department of Physical Education and Athletics sponsored an afternoon of sports-related activities for local middle and elementary school girls.

First up, members of the Norwich women's soccer team led a mini-clinic in Shapiro Field House for girls interested in playing soccer. While this was going on, members of the Norwich women's basketball team set up a scrimmage in Andrews gymnasium for those interested in basketball.

Throughout both these events a student-generated display on the history of women in sports educated the public on topics ranging from girls' participation in high school wrestling to the Williams sisters' tennis dynasty.

At the conclusion of the activities, each young girl was presented with a NGWSD certificate recognizing her participation in the celebration.

Geoff Davison, a member of the Norwich Physical Education department, has organized the event two years running. He sees NGWSD as an opportunity to introduce sports activities to young girls in a friendly, non-threatening venue.

"Competitive sports opportunities for girls have grown tremendously in recent years," said Davison, "but what I really like about this event is that it is all about participation. The girls come here, and even if they've never dribbled a basketball or kicked a soccer ball, right away our athletes make them feel welcome. There's no pressure involved - no tryouts, no uniforms - it's just plain fun. And the best part is, if they like it, they can take it to the next level. In their grandmothers' time that would not even have been possible."

National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) was established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1986 to celebrate the achievements of girls and women in sports. Celebrated in all 50 states with community-based events, award ceremonies and other activities, NGWSD is sponsored by five prominent national organizations: Girls Incorporated, Girl Scouts of the USA, National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, the Women's Sports Foundation, and the YWCA of the U.S.A..

dweggler@norwich.edu, February 2003

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