ATLANTA (February 20, 2018) - To commemorate this year’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), Soccer in the Streets hosted on February 17 a community event, celebrating the extraordinary achievements in girls and women’s sports and the positive influence athletic participation brings to their lives. The event, held at Station Soccer at MARTA’s Five Points Station, was an opportunity for more than thirty girls to celebrate an empowering day, with speakers ranging from current and former professional women soccer players, top female coaches, and leaders in the sports for development sector.
“It’s fitting that we host this event at Station Soccer – which was created to help ensure access to soccer programs for kids from all backgrounds,” said Lauren Glancy, Director of Programs for Soccer in the Streets. “ It’s especially important to keep girls in mind, because of the many proven benefits of athletic participation. Sports not only helps girls be healthy and fit, but it helps them achieve in academics, in their communities and as leaders in many future endeavors.”
NGWSD recognizes the ongoing effort towards equality and access for women in sports and the nation’s commitment to expand sport and participation opportunities for all girls and future generations. This year’s theme was “Play Fair, Play IX”- referring to “Title IX”- which was enacted in 1972 and designed to prevent sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid.
During the event, former Canadian National Player, Princeton Alum and Soccer in the Streets board member, Jeanine Willis, shared her thoughts on how soccer influenced her life in a positive way. Jeanine encouraged the girls to keep playing soccer and stick with it:“you might not be at the skill level you’d expect to be at, but you’ll grow as a player.”
Meanwhile, former pro Chicago Red Star player and Soccer in the Streets coach, Leigh Jakes, empowered the young girls about her career. “It does not matter if you’re the best...as a rookie you are also important to the team. Soccer took me places in life and I fell in love with the game,” said Jakes.