Honoring the tradition started by tennis legend and activist Billie Jean King in 1974, St. Lawrence University student-athletes hosted their fifth annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day event on April 13.
The event was organized by the St. Lawrence University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and welcomed children from the Canton community to compete in coed activities led by student-athletes.
“It’s important that young girls see women playing sports in college so they know they could have a similar opportunity when the time comes,” commented the mother of two participants. “Sometimes you have to see it in order to achieve it.”
As the participants rotated from station to station, they practiced with and learned skills from current St. Lawrence athletes. Women’s and men’s ice hockey, women’s and men’s basketball, track and field and cross country, volleyball, field hockey, and women’s and men’s soccer led participants through six stations. Team members from Alpine ski, Nordic ski, swimming and diving, crew, and football were group leaders and also helped out at the event.
Thirty-five participants ended the festivities by escorting the women’s lacrosse team onto the field and standing with them during the national anthem before the Saints’ conference game against Bard College. The 16-6 victory was especially sweet, with young athletes in the stands cheering on the team each step of the way.
“With the support of many young girls and boys prior to the game, our athletes felt inspired to perform at the highest level,” says Morgan Bruno, assistant women’s lacrosse coach.
“When I was a kid, my youth team had a chance to escort the women’s national soccer team onto the field,” says Sydney Giacin ’21, event chair and co-organizer of the event with teammate Alexandra Price ’19. “It made me feel so cool to be a part of the game and it sparked the love that I have for sports and competition. I wanted to give the young athletes in our community an opportunity like that, hopefully one that could inspire them to continue sports at a higher level.”