Dartmouth athletics hosts Women’s Sports Weekend

by Vikram Bodas | 2/11/16 6:01pm

Women’s hockey, basketball, tennis and track events were free to alumnae.
by Tiffany Zhai / The Dartmouth

Last week, Dartmouth hosted the Women’s Sports Weekend, which seeks to connect women and young girls to Big Green athletics.

The weekend featured a bevy of games and meets including two women’s hockey games, two women’s basketball games, the women’s tennis ECAC Championship and the Dartmouth Classic indoor track and field meet. As part of the event, alumnae received free admission to all home contests.

Saturday’s organized activities included a student-athlete meet and greet lunch, group exercise options for alumnae and a speech by sailor Tania Aebi entitled “Maiden Voyage.” Aebi, who became the first American women and youngest person at the time to sail around the world, spoke about the obstacles she faced while trying to achieve this incredible feat.

The College focused on making all these events as accessible to families and their kids as possible.

“We made a conscious effort to make all of this family friendly, to allow alumnae to bring their kids to campus, particularly their daughters,” senior associate athletics director Wendy Bordeau said.

As part of the weekend, the College hosted National Girls and Women in Sports Day Clinic on Sunday. The multi-sport clinic was led by Dartmouth student-athletes, Bourdeau said, and gave over 130 girls, in grades kindergarten through eighth grade, an opportunity to work with some of the College’s best athletes. While their girls were participating in the clinic, Olympic skier Libby Ludlow ’06 gave a presentation to parents on fostering confidence in young female athletes.

For rugby player Kendall Ronzano ’17, helping out with the clinic is especially meaningful because she hopes to inspire girls to get involved with athletics.

“Participating in the Women in Sports Clinic is always a rewarding experience,” Ronzano said. “I remember going to sports clinics as a little girl and one of the reasons I tried new sports was partially because of the older athletes who coached and shared their passion for the game with us. I hope we did that for the girls who attended on Sunday like those players did for me when I was little.”

Softball player Morgan McCalmon ’16 echoed Rozano’s message and added how much joy participating in this event brings to her.

“It’s always so much fun to get out into the community and have fun with the youth playing games we love,” McCalmon said. “It’s also a great feeling to be a role model to empower young girls to follow their dreams and show them they can do absolutely anything they want.”

In terms of the weekend as a whole, Bordeau was pleased with how the events went but still sees room for improvement in terms of getting more alumnae involvement.

“The clinic is a huge success,” Bordeau said. “As far as the greater weekend programming goes, this was a good start. There is a lot of support and excitement for the concept, but there is definitely room to grow participation. We just need word to spread that this is a great event, well worth making the trek back to Hanover.”