This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

UB to celebrate girls sports day

Published: February 3, 2005

Reporter Contributor

The university will mark its 15th year participating in the National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) on Wednesday with a weeklong series of events ranging from sports clinics to a theatrical performance.

The theme of this year's celebration, which will run from Monday through Feb. 12, is "More than a Game," which organizers say reflects the broader impact of sports, including good health, well-being and opportunity.

The event is sponsored by the Division of Athletics, the Gender Institute, the undergraduate Student Association and WBFO 88.7 FM, UB's National Public Radio affiliate.

Activities will begin at 5 p.m. on Monday in the Center for the Arts with the presentation of the UB Recognition Award to Barbara Rooney, B.S. '78, Ed.M. '92, associate director in the Office of Admissions. Established in 1993, the Recognition Award honors an individual working to promote women's athletics who goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Rooney was a member of the women's volleyball team in 1974, 1976 and 1977, and also played on UB's first women's softball team in 1978. She continues to be active in UB athletics as a season ticket-holder and as a participant in the volleyball alumni club. Moreover, her duties in the admissions office involve the admittance of UB student-athletes.

In addition to the presentation of the UB Recognition Award, Monday's activities will include a component new to NGWSD: a theatrical performance directed by Kelli Bocock-Natale, community relations associate for WBFO and local theater veteran. The performance, which will feature actresses Lisa Ludwig and Kathy Weese, as well as UB student-athletes, will tackle such issues as Title IX, health and leadership.

This year's celebration of NGWSD will not feature a keynote speaker—past events have featured such noted female athletes as Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes and Olympic moguls' skier Jillian Vogtli—in order to appeal to a broader audience, said Laura Barnum, associate athletic director for internal operations and senior women's administrator.

A keynote speaker can overshadow the event with her star power, which can prevent the message of the day—equal opportunity to participate—from coming through, added Dawn Reed, director of women's marketing and special projects for the Division of Athletics.

"Thinking outside the box goes with the theme," Barnum said. "Women and girls participating in sports and having that opportunity lends to the theme. It's not just about becoming an athlete—the day also touches on self-esteem, commitment, drive and professional and personal development."

Following the performance, the UB women's basketball team will take on Western Michigan at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Arena, North Campus.

Activities will continue on Wednesday with a panel discussion on topics related to the theme "More than a Game." The discussion will run from 8-9:30 a.m. in 120 Clemens Hall, North Campus. Panelists Caroline Silby, a sports psychologist from Washington, D.C.; Susan Epstein, a local researcher on child obesity; Laurie Krupski, assistant director for Wellness Education Services at UB; and Victoria Mitchell, UB women's track coach and head of the university's cross-country program, will discuss the benefits of physical activity. The panel is free and open to the public; breakfast will be provided.

An All-Youth Multi-Sports Clinic at 10 a.m. on Feb. 12 in Alumni Arena will round out UB's participation in NGWSD. Boys and girls ages 5 to 15 can try out a variety of sports in the Triple Gym, assisted by varsity and club sports student-athletes and coaches. The cost is $5, which includes the clinic, a pizza party and a ticket to the UB men's basketball game versus Ball State at noon.

The University Archives will provide a satellite display in Alumni Arena of the current exhibit, "Women's Work: A Tribute to the Women Who Make UB Work."

"We feel this ties into the theme of celebrating opportunity and not just athletic achievement," Reed said.

In addition to the youth clinic, varsity and club athletes also will visit local middle schools next week to promote the importance of participating in sports and educating children on the history of NGWSD and the theme of "More Than A Game."

NGWSD began nationally in 1987 as a day to remember the achievements and contributions of Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman, who died suddenly in 1986. UB began marking the day in 1990. The event celebrates and honors the participation and contributions of women—past and present—in sports, the positive influence of sports participation and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

All events are free except the youth clinic. For more information and registration, go to http://www.