Last Saturday, 68 girls between the ages of 9-12 from 13 schools across Western New York, together with more than 100 women athletes, tried their hand at a variety of sports during Western New York Girls in Sports Day, hosted by Niagara University.
This was the first time this event was offered in Niagara County. It began with a demonstration of the exercise fitness program Zumba as the young girls were welcomed by student athletes from Niagara University and Niagara County Community College. Participants received their T-shirts and were assigned to teams. Remarks followed, by Niagara University president the Rev. James J. Maher, Mary Wilson of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation; NU Director of Athletics Simon Gray and NU women’s basketball head coach Jada Pierce.
Teams then made their way to numerous stations in and around the university’s Kiernan Recreation Center to learn more about sports, including volleyball, Danceline, yoga, cross country, softball and basketball, from coaches and female athletes. The day ended with lunch and closing remarks from Wilson, Daycia Clarke of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County’s WNY Girls in Sports program, and Maher.
“Niagara University is proud to host the first Girls in Sports Day held in Niagara County,” Maher said. “We are grateful to Mary Wilson and the Wilson Foundation for their commitment and generosity to promote leadership, teamwork, and create awareness in sports opportunities for young women.”
WNY Girls in Sports Day was made possible through a partnership between NU, United Way of Greater Niagara, the Girls Scouts of Western New York, NCCC, Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club Inc., and Women United. It was funded by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.
Western New York Girls in Sports was founded in 2006 by Wilson, wife of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., with the goal of enriching young girls’ lives through involvement in sports. Wilson’s personal passion for sports was the impetus for creating WNY GIS and developing its focus on teaching young girls and women the life lessons that sports offer. Learn more about Girls in Sports at www.wnygirlsinsports.com.