(ISN) – Rosemont, Ill. – Led by its member institutions, the Big Ten Conference is proud to be an active participant in the 29th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), celebrated around the country 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, “Game On!” Several Big Ten institutions have taken or will take part in various festivities surrounding NGWSD at home women’s basketball contests or around campus.
Michigan State will celebrate NGWSD during the game against Michigan on Thursday. During halftime, women’s student-athletes across several sports will be recognized at half court, accompanied with a video highlighting NGWSD.
Three schools will celebrate NGWSD on Sunday. Michigan will hold a celebration at 12:30 p.m. ET, prior to its women’s basketball game against Rutgers. The event will feature a keynote address from former track student-athlete and Olympian Tiffany Porter, along with an autograph session with several women’s athletic teams. Minnesota will hold an autograph session with each women’s team before its contest against Michigan State, while Northwestern will host its fourth annual roundtable event. Jorie Sax, the Vice President of the Chicago Chapter of Women in Sports and Events, will serve as the keynote speaker.
Penn State will host its NGWSD celebration on Sunday, Feb. 15, with the women’s athletic teams hosting a free pregame youth clinic. Attendees will receive a free ticket to the women’s basketball game that day.
Prior to Indiana’s women’s basketball game against Nebraska on Saturday, Feb. 21, the Hoosiers will host a youth clinic and participants will parade to Assembly Hall for the game. Teams and community organizers will set up information and interactive booths in the concourse for a “family festival.” That same day, Ohio State will host a pregame “meet and greet” with various women’s sports teams before its game versus Iowa. Purdue will begin its celebration by honoring former Boilermaker All-American, national champion and current Indiana Fever head coach Stephanie White. The following week, the Indiana Fever and Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp will host a youth clinic.
Illinois and Maryland’s celebration of NGWSD was held on Sunday, Feb. 1. For Illinois’ game against Wisconsin, various women’s club sports and organizations set up informational booths on the concourse. The Illini promoted the event with a video feature at halftime, followed by a girls youth basketball game. Maryland invited local youth to participate in a free pregame clinic with members of Maryland’s women’s sports teams.
Iowa celebrated NGWSD at the Dec. 7 game against Colorado. The Hawkeyes had eight women’s teams participate in an autograph session, followed by halftime recognition during the game.
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 win a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic 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.