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Hawaii Pacific University hosts annual girls and women in sports day

    By Nicole Hoynaski. February 16, 2017 - 2:32 pm

Youngster head over heels for acro and tumbling. Photo provided by Alex Beltrol Navarro

More than 150 girls aged 3 to 14 years old gathered at the Hawaii Pacific University Hawaii Loa Campus on Jan. 28 for the annual Girls and Women in Sports Day.

The event showcased soccer, tennis, volleyball, softball, acrobatics and tumbling, cross-country, golf and basketball clinics. The girls spent 20 minutes at each sports station taking part in basic activities and learning tips from current female student athletes at HPU. Ellie Wisot, a cross-country running senior was one of the many student-athletes that participated, “I think [our role] is really important because I think it’s good to show girls when they are young that they can play sports and be just as good as anybody, and it puts the idea in their head..and then they grow up loving sports and wanting to try different things,” said Wisot.

Girls try their hand at volleyball. Photo provided by Alex Beltrol Navarro

Studies from the Women’s’ Sports Association have shown shown that participation in sport and physical activity significantly supports the physical and mental health of growing females, and decreases the likelihood of early engagement in unsafe sex and drug use. Furthermore, studies from Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, about 70% of girls are dropping out of organized sports before the age of 13.

The community event was founded by Hawaii Pacific University Assistant Athletic Director and Head Women’s Tennis Coach Lauren Conching, six years ago in an effort to promote more female involvement in athletics. Upon the start of the event, Conching said, “It’s an event that really is just to promote young girls getting into sports, maybe trying sports that they never had the chance to try and like our athletes, be[come] good role models and show that ‘hey look at us, we’re older, we’re successful and this could be you too’.”

HPU tennis station at work. Photo provided by Alex Beltrol Navarro

Participants also received a free t-shirt and lunch to celebrate their experience.

For more information or to get involved next year, visit www.hpu.edu/HPUevents or contact Lauren Conching at lconching@hpu.edu

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