For the last 32 years the National Girls and Women in Sports Coalition has developed an awareness campaign to promote opportunities for girls and women to play sports in their communities. The NGWSD’s focus is on empowering women and girls to get moving, embrace physical activity and push past their limits. This program wants to see more women get involved in sports at a young age and continue through adulthood. Much of their focus is on education regarding Title IX, enforcement, and resources. Currently many female athletes don’t have equal opportunities to participate in sports. Each year around the country various organizations participate in the National Girls and Women in Sports Day by offering free clinics, access to women’s sporting events, and education about women in sports.
This year I was asked if I would be willing to offer a free clinic in Floorball in partnership with the City of Lacey, WA and Saint Martin’s University, where I’m the Director of Recreation. I was more than happy to provide this opportunity. SMU has participated in the NGWSD for many years offering clinics in a variety of sports that are taught by the athletes. Floorball is still growing and I’ve been working to develop the sport where I live. This clinic was another opportunity to get people playing. Once they day came we had 24 girls ages 7-16 show up to learn about Floorball. Most girls that day had zero experience playing Floorball or hockey. The structure of the day was a condensed version of what I normally teach for my classes. In a one and half hour clinic we covered basic Floorball history, safety rules, rules of the game, and a variety of skills (passing, shooting, dribbling) ending with scrimmages to put it all together. All told, the clinic was a success and I’m hopeful that it opened more opportunities for girls to pursue sports going forward.
Women in sports has been gaining more attention in recent years. That’s a good thing on all levels. I firmly believe that the growth of Floorball hinges on getting girls involved. I encourage more schools, business and organizations to participate in the NGWSD event each year and continue to promote girls to play sports. I know I will continue to do so, and I look forward to next year’s clinic and seeing more Floorball programs around the country exposing more girls and women to Floorball.