National Girls and Women in Sports Day

This year marks the 37th year of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This day is to celebrate and honor the growth within sports for girls and women nationwide.

This year marks the 37th year of the Women’s Sports Foundation’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This day is to celebrate and honor the growth within sports for girls and women nationwide. 

To honor this event, The DePauw Athletic Department hosted their fourth annual celebratory breakfast for all members of the DePauw community to attend and support women in athletics. The Athletic Department partnered with student-led organizations such as the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Women’s Athletic Committee(WAC), and  Diverse Athletes Association (DAA) to host the event. 

“We decided to go a different route this year.e wanted to make something more sustainable, honing it on the day itself would be important,” Ashleigh Jones, assistant director of Athletic Communications and a key organizer of the event, said. 

DePauw provided breakfast to coaches, teams, staff and supporters. This year's theme was “More Than a Day,” emphasizing the importance that we celebrate female athletes every day. They also had a raffle and a special guest speaker, Alfreeda Goff, who has spent her career in many different positions within women's athletics. 

Goff, former senior associate commissioner and chief of staff with Horizon League, spoke to the athletes and other attendees. She emphasized the importance of women in athletics and the celebration of the women in athletics here at DePauw. 

Goff was a founding member of Minority Opportunities Athletics Association (MOAA), Women’s Leadership Symposium, and Honored by Black Coaches Association. In addition, she was the administrator of the year at National Association of College Women Athletics Administrators and received the lifetime achievement award from Women Leaders in College Sports in 2002.

Photo courtesy of Ashleigh Rupprecht

“Goff is a pioneering individual for coaches and admin,” Jones said. 

Goff’s career began on the coaching side of women athletics, then pivoted to the administrative side of women's athletics. During her career, she has seen the impact of Title IX on women's athletic programs across the United States. She continues to be an advocate for female athletes every day. 

“Alfreeda Goff is one of our most tenured and treasured members of the AthLEDA executive advisory board,” the AthLEDA organization said.  

First-year Jenna Newton, a member of the women's lacrosse team at DePauw, felt empowered after attending this event.

“I was able to see how far we have come and how much farther we have to come to level the playing field for women in sports,” Newton said.  

Goff emphasized the importance of being a teammate, a value that is held high in all women's sports teams at DePauw. 

Photo courtesy of Ashleigh Rupprecht

“Each one reaches one,” Goff said in her speech. 

Jones interpreted Goff’s words as “Every time there is an opportunity to take the next step, pull people up with you.”

“It was really empowering when Alfreeda Goff said the most important thing is that women continue to support women,” first-year Diana Burgher, a member of the women's basketball team at DePauw, said. 

Many points that Goff made in her speech left a strong impact on the audience regardless of what team they were on. 

“Alfreeda Goff made me realize how much giving something to others can also give you something in return,”  Newton said.

Not only did Goff share her perseverance for women in athletics, but also provided information to the group about how to be a good teammate and what makes some teams stronger and more successful than others. 

The theme “More Than a Day” can be transformed into campus culture here at DePauw. 

“One unique thing we try to do is try to keep the themes in the back of our heads the whole year” Said Jones. 

Following this theme, Jones encourages Tiger fans to support female sports.

 “Our women's teams are super competitive and we have some great success,” Jones said.

“DePauw allows opportunities for female athletes and coaches to grow in leadership and celebrate athletic achievements,” junior SAAC Social Media Coordinator Alaina Novotny said.

“I’m glad that we are celebrating female athletics for more than just one day this year and, instead, are celebrating every day,” she said.