In today's blog, head coach Yvette Healy writes a letter to the team about the importance of being a role model as a female in athletics.
Today is National Girls & Women in Sports Day. This may seem insignificant to you now, but hopefully in years to come the opportunities afforded to you here at Wisconsin will sink in. We are all blessed to be at an amazing university that supports women's athletics at the highest level.
Just look at the money and resources dedicated to all of our student-athletes with the new Student-Athlete Performance Center, weight room, academic advising center and locker rooms. Next think about the resources dedicated to Wisconsin's women's sports, from the new multi-million dollar indoor softball facility and video analysis programs, to the LaBahn Arena for women's hockey, and the new indoor driving range for golf at University Ridge.
Yet, there is still a huge gap in equality. Think about girl's youth sports, high school sports and inter-collegiate athletics. Funding, resources and facilities are a huge challenge for most female teams. Still the greatest need in women's sports right now is role models.
We need even more strong, motivated, talented, high-achieving young women to step in and share their talents with other young girls. You are the ambassadors for our sport. You are competing at the highest level. Girls everywhere need you to share your story, your knowledge and your gifts. Please take a moment today to drop a card or email to one of your former teams or coaches. Share your story with other young athletes, regarding what playing sports has meant to you.
For me, playing softball at Providence Catholic High School was one of the most influential experiences in my life. We learned the value of hard work; shoveling snow off our field, raking it, pulling the drag around the infield by hand, rolling the outfield, painting the equipment shed and lugging bags of diamond dry to try to get in one more game over spring break. We learned discipline and sacrifice, waking up early for lifting, conditioning and open gym before school started at 7:30.
We were blessed to play for a coach, who was passionate and driven. Every day he pushed us, made us laugh and challenged us to play hard. We learned how to lead, playing with a diverse group of athletes, some who competed year-round, and others who were happy just to play for one year in high school. Time management was critical, balancing a rigorous academic schedule with long bus trips and double-headers. Yet what stood out most were the teammates, teachers and coaches who took the time to talk, teach, support and challenge us.
- Coach Healy