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IMG_1258The Women’s Sports Foundation launched National Girls & Women in Sports Day to advocate for the advancement of girls’ and women’s sports because, “Young girls model their behaviors and actions after the role models in their lives.”  IMG_8496

I grew up admiring Dover Olympian Jenny Thompson, Michelle Kwan, and the collegiate athletes at UNH.  My friends and I went to every gymnastics meet, hockey game, basketball game, and skating exhibition.  I “adopted” an Ice Cat, was a member of the Wildcat Kids Club, and lived for autograph day at the Whittemore Center.

IMG_1259I know that those role models inspired me to dream big.  In the eighth grade, I was selected as New Hampshire’s Sports Girl of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation.  My coach and I traveled to New York City for the Annual Gala at the Waldorf Astoria.  I was in awe of all of the athletes, Paralympians, XGames Champions, Olympic Champions, Speaker Robin Roberts, and the other young athletes from every state.  I left that night believing anything was possible.  From Team USA to the NCAA, all of my skating dreams came true.

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These Wildcats can PLAY!

It’s important to encourage ALL young athletes to stay in the game.  There is a sport for everyone and it may take you a while to find it.  I was terrible at basketball (my best skill was catching the ball with my face), but I played my heart out for one season (baskets scored = 0, black eyes = 6).  I am the word’s loudest cheerleader at youth sports.  I respect anyone who takes the field and gives it their all.  I give high fives to everyone and applaud every athlete’s achievements.

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These Oyster River Bobcats can play too!

It was fun to spend the day at UNH to celebrate the 29th Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day and the partnership between the You Can Play Project and the America East Conference.  It was great to see athletes from every UNH Team supporting the initiative and cheering on the Women’s Basketball Team.

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I hope everyone will join me next week to cheer on the UNH Gymnastics Team as they host Towson, West Virginia, and Brown at the UNH Invitational at Lundholm Gym on Sunday, February 8 at 1:00 p.m.  Go Cats! 

To learn more, please visit:

NGWSD http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/en/home/advocate/ngwsd

YCP http://youcanplayproject.org/

UNH Athletics http://www.unhwildcats.com/

America East Conference http://www.americaeast.com/

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