Littlestown hosts 2nd annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day event

LITTLESTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Littlestown Area School District hosted its second annual Girls and Women in Sports Day event on Wednesday to introduce K-6 girls to the athletic opportunities available at Littlestown Middle and High School.

“I think, as a woman who has gone through sports and played it collegiately, I don’t think people realize it’s so much more than the sport. It’s the friendships you make, it’s the doors you open in the future, it’s the lifelong bonds,” said Littlestown High School athletic director Shellee Young.

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The event consists of the K-6 girls rotating through stations that introduce each sport Littlestown offers for girls, which includes soccer, field hockey, tennis, basketball, track and field, cheerleading, softball and volleyball. The stations are run by the student-athletes.

“The coaches are there, but the (students) lead it,” Young said. “(It’s a way for) the girls (to) have mentors, look up to the older girls that are playing and just expose them to all the sports.”

Shellee said the current student-athletes love running the 15-minute mini-clinics for the next generation of girls. They lead the girls through multiple activities including jumping hurdles, shooting hoops, cheerleading routines and more. Some of the girls who participated last year as sixth graders returned this year as helpers because they enjoyed the event so much.

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They are focusing on the K-6 age group because Shellee said typically middle school is when many girls tend to quit sports. This is a way to show them that there are opportunities to continue their athletic journey at Littlestown and beyond.

At the end of the event, they show the girls a special video.

“Our athletic trainer goes around and gets clips from all the athletes and we get a couple of the athletes that are playing at the collegiate level,” Young said. “It just kind of goes through why they play (and) how sports have had an impact on them.”

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Shellee noted that sports teach time management, sportsmanship and more.

“I don’t think people realize that you learn winning and losing, yes, but (you learn) how to win and how to lose gracefully and sportsmanship,” Shellee said. “It’s made such a huge impact on me that I just want girls to know it’s more than just the sport.”

Littlestown plans to hold this event every year to continue exposing girls to sports. Right now Littlestown has 240 female athletes participating in sports and they want the number to keep growing.

Last year the event had 70 girls. This year 90 showed up for the special day.

They have hopes of incorporating a Q&A session at the event in the future with Littlestown graduates who are playing women’s sports at the collegiate level to further illustrate to their girls how far sports can take them.

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