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Middle School Girls To Get Coaching, Inspiration From Pomona-Pitzer Women Athletes

In celebration of the 17th Annual National Girls and Women in Sport Day, Pomona College will host 80 students from Fremont Middle School in Pomona, for a day of sports and mentoring on Saturday, February 12.

Student-athletes, administrators and faculty from Pomona and Pitzer Colleges, as well as staff and student liaisons from Pomona Partners, a community outreach program based at Pomona College, will socialize with the students and coach them in sports clinics in basketball, soccer, track and field, and rope skipping. The day will conclude with lunch at the softball field (just in time to watch the Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Softball team compete against Cal State San Marcos) and a time to socialize. All participants will receive a t-shirt, jump rope, poster, certificate and a photo collage.

“This is a day for the girls from Fremont to meet our student athletes,” says Lisa Beckett, senior woman administrator for Pomona and Pitzer Athletics. “Our student athletes are very positive role models – diligent students who are physically active and health conscious, and who demonstrate ethical behavior and good sportsmanship. The girls are exposed to a variety of sports and activities, and maybe they will find something that they really like and pursue it.”

The national theme for 2005 NGWS Day is “More Than A Game.” The skills built by sports participation carry over a lifetime. An often-cited 1988 study by Linda Bunker (University of Virginia) found that 80 percent of women business leaders in Fortune 500 companies participated in sports during their childhood.

NGWS Day is organized jointly by Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., The National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, Women’s Sport Foundation, American Association of University Women, National Women’s Law Center and YWCA of the USA. Collectively, these organizations have a membership reach of 5.5 million girls and women. Each year in February, thousands of sports educators, coaches, athletic directors, recreation directors, students and parents across the country organize and sponsor various events.

NGWS Day began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic Volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure recognition for past and current sport achievements, to promote the positive influence of sports participation, and to support access for women in sports. Hyman was captain of the 1984 U.S. Olympic volleyball team, which won a silver medal and brought women’s volleyball from virtual obscurity in the U.S. to worldwide recognition and respect. Hyman, who died in 1986, was dedicated to the fight for equal athletic opportunities for women and well-known in the halls of Congress.

Since 1972 when Congress passed the Educational Amendments, women and girls have made particularly tremendous strides in the world of sports. One section of that law, Title IX, prohibits discrimination against girls and women in federally-funded education, including athletics programs. According to the National Women’s Law Center, fewer than 32,000 women competed in intercollegiate athletics in 1972. But by 2002, the number of college women participating in competitive athletics was nearly five times the pre-Title IX rate In high school, before Title IX, fewer than 300,000 girls played competitive sports. By 2001, the number had climbed to 2.78 million.

The tradition of athletics at Pomona College is nearly as old as the college itself. From 1895 until the mid-1960s, Pomona College athletes competed on a variety of teams. Following the founding of Pitzer College in 1963, Pomona and Pitzer joined their sports programs to form the Pomona-Pitzer Intercollegiate Athletic Program.

Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.

For further information:

Lisa Beckett
Senior Woman Administrator
Pomona and Pitzer Athletics
909-621-8428
lmb04747@pomona.edu

Women Sports Foundation
www.womenssportsfoundation.org

National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education
www.ncwge.org