Big Ten Celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Feb. 6, 2013

Park Ridge, Ill. -

Led by its member institutions, the Big Ten Conference is proud to be an active participant in the 27th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), celebrated around the country today, Feb. 6.

Today, 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, "Girls in Sports, An Investment in the Future.” Several Big Ten institutions have taken or will take part in various festivities surrounding NGWSD at home women’s basketball contests or around campus.

This morning, Minnesota will host the Jean Freeman Girls and Women in Sports Breakfast for women’s athletics supporters. From Noon-1 p.m. CT, there will be an award ceremony to recognize Minnesota’s most inspiring and influential student-athletes, coaches and athletic leaders. In the evening, a networking event will be held for women in sports careers. Admission is free, and the event will feature food, gifts and breakout sessions led by women specializing in sports careers.

Today, Wisconsin will participate in a community service project with other women’s teams to benefit a youth organization. The Badgers will also recognize the event at a home swimming meet later in the day.

Various Penn State women’s programs will host a clinic and sign autographs on the concourse prior to the Lady Lions’ contest against Michigan State on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. ET. In addition, the Lady Lions will host an autograph session following the game.

Northwestern will host its NGWSD celebration on Sunday, Feb. 10 when the Wildcats host Ohio State. Prior to the tip at 3 p.m. CT, girls will have the opportunity to speak with Northwestern student-athletes, coaches, staff and media members, including ESPN’s Sarah Spain, about various topics relative to women playing sports and working in athletics.



Purdue’s celebration of the event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 10 when it hosts Michigan at Noon ET. Held in conjunction with Girl Scout Day, the Boilermakers will host a free youth skills clinic put on by the women’s sports programs in Lambert Fieldhouse prior to the contest against the Wolverines. Each participant will receive a booklet containing information about NGWSD.

Indiana’s celebration of NGWSD will be held on Sunday, March 3, when the Hoosiers host Minnesota. Local organizations and sports teams will be in attendance with interactive booths, which will be set up throughout the concourse, for a special fan festival. Other women’s teams will participate in pregame festivities and a female achievement in sport video will be shown.

Iowa celebrated NGWSD with festivities on Sunday, Feb. 3 against Northwestern.  Youths wearing club or youth team jerseys were admitted free into the contest against the Wildcats. Several women’s squads signed autographs before the game and were recognized at halftime.

Nebraska’s celebration of NGWSD was held on Sunday, Feb. 3. In their game against Minnesota, the Huskers recognized the event prior to tip-off. 

Michigan State held its celebration on Monday, Feb. 4 during its game against Michigan. Student-athletes from the Spartans’ women’s athletics teams were recognized at halftime and teams set up displays throughout the concourse.

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, click here.