Next month the athletics department will be hosting the event Women in Sports in which young girls will visit campus and participate in the clinics created by the different female athletic teams of Oakland University.
The event features the participation of Women’s Soccer, Volleyball, Women’s Golf, Women’s Swim and Dive, and Women’s Basketball and will take place October 11 at the O’rena and the OU soccer field.
At the same time, this event will be supporting the breast cancer research and awareness.
This event is a mix between Women in Sports and Pink Day.
It will emphasize the importance of sports in the lives of young girls and its benefits while all the participating teams will be wearing pink in support of the battle against breast cancer.
An exciting turn will be the speech of Alfreeda Goff. Goff is the Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief of Staff for the Horizon League and is also one of the founders of the annual Women’s Leadership Symposium, which helps women to be successful in the intercollegiate field.
Jenna Taylor is the author of this event. She is a senior majoring in marketing and also a member of the OU Women’s Soccer team.
“I am always looking at other programs and schools and looking to see what activities or events they do and the effects it has on their fan attendance or school spirit,” Taylor said.
However, she was not alone bringing this event to life. Evan Dermidoff, the Athletic Advisor, suggested Taylor to pitch the idea to Holly Kerstner from Athletics Student Services. “When I told Holly, she was ecstatic about this event,” Taylor said.
This project passed from being the dream of a student to the goal of an entire department.
Jenna mentioned that she has been getting a lot of attention from different people and not just in the Athletic Department.
“I also received a lot of support from coaches and student leaders who were willing to help when I brought up the idea in March. Basically, it has become a group effort in the athletic department,” Taylor said.
“Sports have always been a part of my life. It started with playing Jackpot or football with the neighborhood boys when I was 6 years old to playing AYSO when I was 8 years old, then to today being a collegiate athlete on the women’s soccer team, she said. “When I was a kid I had to deal with the court system and family issues, so when I got a chance to be free outside, sports were an outlet.”
The people putting this together are expecting an attendance of around 50 girls for the event.
It might seem like small amount for all the planning that has been going on, but this project is more about the quality and not the quantity.
“This event can show girls that playing a sport or being active can be a great thing in your life,” Taylor said. “It can inspire you to be the best, create opportunities to gain lifelong friends, develop leadership and life skills, and live a healthy and happy lifestyle.”
Hoping to inspire and encourage, Taylor and the rest of the Athletic Department of Oakland University expect to bring some joy to the lives of these girls and who knows, maybe they will be future Golden Grizzlies.