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National Girls & Women in Sports Day

EAGAN, Minn. - February 5, 2020, is the 34th Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day. The National day sponsored by the Women's Sports Foundation is a celebration of girls and women former, present, and inspiring future to play and be active through sports. The day highlights the importance of equal opportunity for all girls and women in sports.

In celebration of National Girls & Women in Sports Day, we're highlighting some of Salvo SC's women who make Salvo SC special. We caught up with six of our very own and read about what sports have done for them and their passion for girls & women in sports!

Lisa Wolf - Executive Director
Delaney Marier - U9-U12 East Director & Girls' Development Academy Head Coach
Katlin Okamoto - Girls' Development Academy Head Coach
Megan Kaczmarek - Staff Coach & Communications Coordinator
Ciara Gregory - Staff Coach
Krystle Siedel - Girls College Advisor & Staff Assistant Coach

What sports did you play growing up?

Wolf: Volleyball and track, a proud supporter of both the boys and girls basketball teams.

Marier: Soccer, basketball, track & field, gymnastics, and baton twirling!

Okamoto: Soccer, basketball, tennis, t-ball, and swimming.

Kaczmarek: Soccer and football

Gregory: Soccer and track & field

Siedel: Soccer and basketball

How did participating in sports impact you?

Wolf: I participated in sports until 9th grade, when it was really apparent that I wouldn't make the varsity teams and being from a small town there weren't other options. Instead, I took every opportunity to be with my friends, supporting them by being a manager of the teams. While I wasn't on the court competing, I was an active part of the highs and lows of being on a team. My contributions came in keeping stats, encouragement at practices and games, and sharing in the celebrations at our successes. My role continued as my kids became active in sports, and I continued to be involved in their teams and programs, ultimately finding my way to my current role as Executive Director.

Marier: Participating in sports as I grew up has been the foundation for the person I am today. I was able to learn how to be empathetic, sympathetic, and compassionate. I also learned how to compete with and against others as an individual. The ability to be gritty, determined, and resilient has come from my competitive desire to be successful, which is magnified in sports. Sports brought my family closer together and has created life long friendships. I believe that participating in sports as I grew up taught me every life lesson I needed to put into relationships, work, and passion throughout my life. 

Okamoto: Sport has always been a place to forge relationships and build community, especially when I've been in new places. Playing soccer opened up many doors for me, and being on the field was always a home away from home. It's hard to imagine youthhood without sport- it was just a part of what happened in my day-to-day. 

Kaczmarek: Sports were my escape from everyday life but also gave me something to be invested in from a physical standpoint. I always loved sports and wanted to play all of them but loved the aspect of competing and trying to be better. I think I got a lot of life lessons from sports like hard work being an essential part of success. I enjoyed being able to be physically active and play with friends.

Gregory: Helped me develop a competitive personality and a drive to be the best I can be in all aspects of life. Having coaches believe in me and what I can do on and off the field developed confidence in me to try new things and never settle for anything in life! I love sports for how they challenge you physically and mentally, as well as how they bring you to people who are like you in life. 

Siedel: Sports was an outlet for my energy and competitiveness in my early years. As I grew, it was a space of confidence and empowerment. 

What does Salvo SC do to support girls & women through soccer?

Wolf: I believe that we have created a unique environment compared with other clubs.  Our female players are encouraged to take risks and opportunities to be role models for our younger players (i.e., practices with mixed age groups, volunteer coaching opportunities in our Community, and Camp programs).  We provide the opportunity to have a large number of female coaches and staff working as role models to showcase that women can have roles throughout sport and alongside their male counterparts.  

Marier: Salvo SC actively looks to put women in roles that lead our young girls to help empower them in their future aspirations. As a Director, I am thrilled by the awareness of our leadership.  Our club places importance on the importance of opportunities and retaining strong women within our club. 

Okamoto: Salvo has quickly grown to offer a wide selection of playing opportunities for girls and women across competitive levels. By having female leadership, Salvo provides opportunities for girls in our club to see themselves in the profession as coaches, directors, and organizational leaders. I am excited to see what steps Salvo takes next to continue to support women and girls in the club.  

Kaczmarek: Salvo SC offers a pathway for every girl & woman within our club. From community soccer to the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL), there's something for everyone. I also believe that Salvo SC cares about the development of soccer players but also as people. It's a place where girls and women can feel like they can grow on and off the field with the support of other girls and women who've been there and done it before them.

Gregory: Salvo SC treats coaches and players as equals by how they view us based on skill, passion, personality, and experience rather than by gender. We have female coaches at all levels within Salvo SC, which eliminates boundaries for women in our soccer community. Salvo SC allows for me a mentality that I can get what I work for, which is an inspirational example for the young female players and fans in the club.

Siedel: They provide a soccer path from the community (rec/grassroots) through WPSL.

 

For more information on National Girls & Women in Sports Day powered by Women's Sports Foundation visit, www.womenssportsfoundation.org/. National Girls & Women in Sports Day is the first Wednesday in February and will is celebrated on February 3 in 2021.

Those looking to support girls and women in sports can connect with The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport through The University of Minnesota. The Tucker Center provides research, analytical data, resources, and events to educate and advocate for girls and women in sports. They hold an annual Women Coaches Symposium every year in April, which will take place on Friday, April 24, 2020. For more information on The Tucker Center and the Women Coaches Symposium visit, https://www.cehd.umn.edu/tuckercenter/.

Salvo SC is celebrating our Girls & Women in sports every day and on February 5, 2020. Salvo SC is the only club in Minnesota to offer the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and one of six Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) teams in Minnesota. Salvo SC provides competitive and community-based programming for girls and women from 5U - 19U. For more info on Salvo SC and programming options for girls and women visit, www.salvosoccer.org.

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