Today marks National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an annual day of recognition that celebrates the accomplishments of female athletes and the positive influence of participating in sports for girls and women. This day also seeks to honor the adversity and obstacles that female athletes face in the continuing struggle for equality within the world of sports.
“The impact of Title IX on women’s sports can be seen directly when looking at the Olympic Games where American women dominate. Additionally, women from around the world have benefited from Title IX by earning athletic scholarships to American colleges and universities, then returning home to represent their respective countries,” said Michele Cornish, SSM Athletic Director. “Success in women’s sport has been happening world-wide for a long time and interest in women’s sport goes back 100+ years. As women, we still face inequality when compared to men in athletics, but it’s a big mistake to underestimate a female’s ability to compete. Women and girls take sport seriously.”
Shattuck-St. Mary’s has a long history of excellence in female sports, dating back to when the St. Mary’s Hall Gym was built in 1889 complete with “two bowling alleys, swinging rings, ladders, and other apparatus desirable for physical development.” By 1908, girls could choose from field hockey, “center ball,” tennis, cross-country walking, and horseback riding. More traditional sports like volleyball, basketball, and track were added in the 1970s, with hockey and lacrosse following in the 1990s.
Most recently, the Girls Hockey Center of Excellence, which has been winning National Championships since 2005, has produced numerous college stars, U.S. National Team champs, and Olympic Gold medalists. Also in 2005, the Girls Soccer Center of Excellence was formed and has helped develop eleven youth national team players, more than eight professional players, one Olympic bronze medalist, and a bronze World Cup medalist. Since 2006, the Figure Skating Center of Excellence athletes have competed domestically and internationally, often in national championships in their home countries. The Golf Center of Excellence was formed in 2012, allowing female golfers to compete all over the country, all year round.
In honor of all our past and present female athletes, we’ve collected some of the most recent headlines featuring alumnae finding success in their sports:
After graduating from SSM, Tiernny Wiltshire ’16 went on to play soccer for Rutgers University and will soon make the transition to professional soccer.
A goaltender for Northeastern University, Aerin Frankel ’17 gears up for the Beanpot Tournament in Boston, as well as for the 2019-2020 Rivalry Series with Team USA.
After playing in the 2018 Winter Olympics for South Korea, Grace Lee ’19 went on to play for Yale University, where her level of play has won her the title “Rookie of the Month.”
Two-time Olympic medalist and six-time world champion, Brianna Decker ’09 strives for excellence whether she’s playing or coaching.
Current student, Makenna Webster ’20 won a gold medal in the 2020 IIHF Women’s Under-18 World Championship in Slovakia.
Rachel Wegfahrt ’17 returned to Minnesota earlier this year with Disney on Ice, where she takes turns skating as Jesse from Toy Story and Elsa from Frozen.
Three alumnae from the class of 2019, Kate Reilly, Kenzie Hauswirth, and Courtney Vorster, have found remarkable success on the Quinnipiac hockey team this year.
Morgan Friday ’17 and Hunter Zamzow ’19 of the St. Scholastica women’s soccer team, were recognized as Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player/Rookie of the Year respectively.
Claudia Kim ’19, a golfer for St. Thomas University, made a hole-in-one during her very first month as a collegiate golfer.
We are so proud of all of our women in sports and we look forward to celebrating their future successes. Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Sabres!