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"Play Like a Girl" Pomona-Pitzer Athletes Provide Inspiration to Middle School Girls

In celebration of National Girls and Women in Sport Day, Pomona College will host approximately 100 students from Fremont Middle School in Pomona and Serrano Middle School in Montclair, for a day of sports and mentoring on Saturday, February 3. The theme for this year’s event is “Play Like A Girl, Play Like A Champion.”

With a focus on leadership, the day will begin with an opening talk by Laura Trombley, President of Pitzer College. Pomona-Pitzer athletes will then organize warm-up games and hold instructional clinics in soccer, tennis, volleyball and lacrosse. The day will conclude with lunch at the softball field (just in time to watch Pomona-Pitzer compete against Patten University) and time to socialize and discuss possible leadership opportunities in sport, school and community.

An important part of the program is giving the middle school students a chance to meet and interact with Pomona-Pitzer women athletes. “Our student-athletes are very positive role models,” says Lisa Beckett, senior woman administrator for Pomona and Pitzer Athletics. “They’re well-rounded individuals committed to excellence in their many endeavors, who demonstrate strong leadership qualities both inside and outside of sport.” By introducing the middle school girls to a variety of sports, the program hopes to help the girls find something that they like and will want to continue.

Studies have found that 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.

The event at Pomona College is sponsored by Pomona-Pitzer Athletics and the Pomona College Office of Community & Multicultural Programs’ Pomona Partners. 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.

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, the organizations have a membership reach of 5.5 million girls and women. NGWS Day began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to support access for women in sports.

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.