Big Ten Celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Feb. 8, 2005

The Big Ten Conference, led by each of its 11 member institutions, is proud to be an active participant in the 19th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), which will be celebrated on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, February 9, in Washington, D.C.

Illinois will celebrate NGWSD with Girl Scout Day during its home game February 13 against Penn State, which will be one of a four-part series with soccer, volleyball, women's gymnastics, and women's basketball to expose young girls to the benefits of sport and the opportunities that come along with it.

Michigan also became very involved in the celebration with NGWSD as the Wolverines and the Girl Scouts of the Huron Valley Council presented "Leaders and Best" awards to four local girls and women who have made contributions to sports and impacted the community. The celebration took place at last weekend's women's basketball home game against Minnesota

Indiana invited fans to "Take A Girl To A Game Day" on January 30, which allowed patrons to meet IU female athletes, try new sports skills and learn more about girl's and women's health through interactive stations at Assembly Hall. Minnesota also took part in a similar promotion, inviting girls to not only women's basketball games, but women's hockey (January 14), gymnastics (February 5) and softball (February 12) at the Metrodome as well.

Michigan State celebrated NGWSD during the Northwestern game on February 3. All female varsity sports teams and coaching staffs were invited to the game and were stars of a two-minute video highlighting women's athletics at MSU.

Ohio State and members of local Girl Scout troops sold $2 tickets to the Indiana game on February 6 and gave away free women's basketball trading cards to the first 5,000 fans in attendance. A total of 10,434 fans watched their No. 2 Buckeyes top the Hoosiers, 78-46.

Prior to Purdue's win over rival Penn State last Sunday, Boilermaker fans were invited to join members from all nine of Purdue's women's varsity teams for free pizza and autographs. Purdue head coach Kristy Curry talked to the group following the event, stressing the importance and benefits of participating in sports.

The Lady Lions, along with Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin, were also active participants in the celebration of NGWSD.

On Wednesday, thousands of sports educators, coaches, athletic directors, recreation directors, association members, sponsors, students, and parents across the country will show their support of the Day and of this year's theme, "More Than A Game". NGWSD is celebrated in all 50 states with community-based events, award ceremonies, and activities honoring the achievements and encouraging participation of girls and women in sports.

NGWSD began in 1987 as a day to honor Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman, a world-class athlete who helped the United States women's volleyball team to a silver medal at the 1984 games in Los Angeles. Hyman used her notoriety to set an example of community involvement while significantly enhancing the opportunities for girls and women in sport. Following Hyman's sudden passing while playing volleyball in Japan in 1986, NGWSD continues to evolve into a celebration of the past and recognition of current achievements for girls and women in sport.

For more information regarding NGWSD, please follow this link: