Kenyon College’s 17th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day clinic, a free event co-sponsored by the Kenyon Athletics Department and eight of the Kenyon’s women’s sports teams, was held on Sunday in the Lowry Center. As well as being the first time this event was held since the pandemic began, this year’s clinic was particularly special, as it also coincided with the 50th anniversary of Title IX.
The event is held every year in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which celebrates the accomplishments of female athletes. This year, 160 local girls in grades K-8 participated in the event. Throughout the course of the day, they rotated through stations where they played a variety of sports, attended a Q&A session with some of Kenyon’s women athletes and watched a video about the history of Title IX.
Participants visited each station in small groups, where they were coached by the student-athletes. Each team managed a station specific to their sport, for which they organized different drills and games and guided the participants through the activities.
The lacrosse station, for example, had three different drills including passing, cradling and target practice, where participants threw balls at cones with a stick in order to knock them over. Mallory Brophy ’25, a midfielder on the lacrosse team, noted that the clinic allowed many of the participants to try sports that they may not normally have a chance to play. “It was a really amazing opportunity for all these girls to be aware of so many sports that maybe their school doesn’t have yet or that they won’t be exposed to otherwise,” she said.
Lucy Scott ’24, a defender on the field hockey team, added that this event also encouraged her to reflect on the role sports have played in her life and in the lives of others. “Sports are a space in which [girls] are allowed to feel powerful and are allowed to just be passionate and have fun and enjoy themselves,” she said. “It isn’t always celebrated, the idea that you are allowed to be powerful and you’re allowed to be strong.”
Bouncing back after a brief pandemic-induced hiatus, Assistant Athletics Director for Fitness and Recreation Emily Heithaus noted that the event was successful not only as a celebration of women’s sports but also as an opportunity to support local girls. “A lot of girls in surrounding communities don’t always have the same kind of support that we have for our women athletes here,” she said. “[This event] allows them the opportunity to be a part of something that’s just bigger than themselves, a chance to give back to the community and to really begin to understand what kind of impact they can have on people just by being the good people that they are through athletics.”