Feb. 7, 2024, celebrated the 38th National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). DePauw highlighted the importance of this day by featuring all of the female athletes at the Women's Basketball game versus Denison. All DePauw female student athletes were honored for their dedication and commitment to the athletic endeavors. 

Image of Dorothy Karris '26. Courtesy of Ashleigh Rupprecht.

Cheerleader Dorothy Karris ‘26 shares: “In cheerleading specifically, it means learning to have a deep level of trust for my teammates and showing up with an open mind every day.” With rigorous practices and managing a course load, Dorothy finds a strong value for assurance in her teammates to be able to find shared success.

Team spirit drives student athletes to success. “I get to constantly be surrounded by strong women who inspire me and push me to do my best,” said Bridget Driscoll, a junior on the DePauw Women's Lacrosse team. For athletes, an important aspect of being a part of a team is having teammates to hold you accountable and help you navigate difficult times. Team support is prevalent through all the teams on campus.“It is great to be surrounded by so many other women who are athletes because you never feel alone,” said Anna Marks, a first-year on the DePauw Women's Field Hockey team.

Image of Bridget Driscoll '25. Courtesy of Ashley Rupprecht. 

Over the past few decades since title IX was passed in 1972, there has been a significant growth in opportunities for female athletes. Additionally, there has been a major movement over the last couple of years. “Watching women's basketball grow in the NCAA is so amazing to see, specifically seeing women advocate for themselves and their sport,” said Diana Burger, a sophomore on the

Image of Diana Burger '25. Courtesy of Ashleigh Rupprecht.

DePauw Women's Basketball team. 

Women supporting, leading, and advocating for one another is the foundation of this recent female athlete movement. Ella Ohrvall ‘26 on the Women's

Softball team shares: “It’s important for women to be involved in sports so that they get the same recognition that men do.” The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) said, “41% of all NCAA college athletes are women.” This number increases every year. “I am so glad I can now be inspiring for younger girls and inspire them to do what they want to do,”  Ohrvall added.

Image of Ella Ohrvall '26. Courtesy of Ashely Rupprecht.

Many college athletes move on to be successful in their post-graduate careers. Many useful experiences that these female athletes experience in their time at DePauw provide them with the necessary resources to thrive in their jobs. “I learned and cultivated core skills that have prepared me for my everyday job: communication, hard work, and collaboration,” said Anissa Nourse ‘22, a DePauw graduate who played all four years on the DePauw Women's Soccer team and currently works at J.P. Morgan. “These skills may seem simple, but I have been able to apply them as I work with different individuals post-grad.”

Finally, Coach Cristin Allen, the head Women's Soccer Coach at DePauw, shared with The DePauw: It's important to celebrate NGWSD to shine a light on all the girls and women who simply participate in a sport, because sport provides us with an arena to be confident in, and provides us with an opportunity to showcase our strengths and abilities.” Allen has coached for DePauw since 2019.“But more important than this, I see NGWSD as an opportunity to thank those who came before us and broke down those barriers to give us those opportunities to be confident and strong,” said Allen. Allen has been coaching female soccer players since 2002. “As a coach of female athletes, I take on the responsibility and privilege of growing this next generation, in hopes that we can continue to be and do more; and in doing so, I hope my team sees me both as someone who supports them and challenges them to be more than any limitation that has ever been placed upon them.” 

National Girls And Women In Sports Day allows for female athletes to be celebrated for these endeavors while navigating through obstacles and creating opportunities for future female athletes.