Empowering girls through sports


Kingswood Oxford hosted their third annual Girls in Sports Day on Feb.1, from 8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event took place in the Field House, where girls ages eight to 14 participated in 40 minute sessions with KO coaches and student-athletes.

The third annual Girls in Sports Day was a success; the day was filled with 11 different sports as well as a team- building session, trivia, and a spirit contest.

Sports offered included soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse, track and field, tennis, field hockey, agility and performance, and yoga.

Director of Athletics Debbie Fiske brought the idea of hosting Girls in Sports Day to KO after initiating it at her previous employment. “One of the things about athletics is that we need to empower girls through sport,” she said. “I’m a big believer that we need to educate and give opportunities for young girls to have role models.”

Ms. Fiske went on to say that while there are a lot of male role models in sports, hosting events such as Girls in Sports Day presents young girls with role models that they can relate to.

The event is run entirely by the athletic staff, coaches, and student-athletes. “I also like the idea that it’s a way for our own student-athletes to give back to a sport that’s been good to them,” Ms. Fiske said.

KO’s student-athletes were key to starting Girls in Sports day as an annual event. Ms. Fiske says once the Field House made space for the event possible, the student athletic advisory council (SAAC) helped plan its first year. “SAAC and all the girls’ sports really got behind it and it was a big success that first year,” Ms. Fiske said.

Each sport had student-athletes volunteering to help make the day special for participants. These students shared Ms. Fiske’s sentiments.

“It’s great that I could pass my knowledge of weight training and track and field onto young girls,” junior Rinese Sterling said. “It’s important for them to learn the value of being a part of a team, and they need to know that there is no limit to what they can do.”

The highlight of the event was the positivity of the staff and students, which made for a great experience for participants.

“It’s fun that our coaches and student-athletes are apart of putting smiles on those participants’ faces,” Ms. Fiske said. “I just like the energy that you can see with the girls learning the sports and being taught.”

Girls in Sports Day wouldn’t be possible without the help of the athletic staff: Equipment Manager Matthew Kocay, Head Athletic Trainer Steve Cannata, Administrative Assistant Joshua Balabuch, and varsity girls basketball Assistant Coach Terese Cerins all put in a tremendous amount of work into the day. “A huge thanks to our coaches and student athletes because that’s a Saturday morning that they’re giving extra,” Ms. Fiske said.