Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito broke ground on an original event series designed to inspire and educate local girls in sports through stories and insight from pioneering females in athletics. The event was held on Feb. 9 to coincide with the 34th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (Feb 5, 2020) and featured an all-star panel-- Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito’s own Chief Executive Officer Marineke Vandervort, Colorado State University Women’s Division 1 Swimming and Diving Team (94-98); Judy Sweet, the first female president of the NCAA; Lacy Henderson, six-time USA National Champion Paralympic long jumper; Brandi Padilla, lacrosse coach at SDSU; Kamila Tan, UCLA’s first beach volleyball-exclusive athlete, and Mazatlan Harris, first team All-Western selection three years in a row and soon to be UC Davis Aggies player.
Between 65 and 70 athletes and their supporters participated in a panel discussion about the importance of pursuing equality in athletics, and Title IX---an amendment that paved the way for female sports. Following the panel, the athletes and their parents split into two groups: parents learned about Title IX, and the athletes learned about injury prevention and effective communication.
Her Time was held at Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito’s Polster Branch, in Carmel Valley. A number of the girls who attended the event are coached by Courtney Clements. Clements is the head coach of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito’s six-month undefeated Bulldog’s Girls Basketball team, a former WNBA player, and the driving force behind the event.
Comments made at the event included:
“For me it’s inspiring to have a CEO who is female, but also who is the first in the organization’s 54-year history. When you’re the first at anything it’s important, but especially when you’re female, you’re carrying a lot of weight on your shoulders,” Clements said.
“I want to say how honored I am to be here and I’m honored to serve the organization as the CEO, but mostly because of events like this and the opportunity to positively impact so many amazing youth—our boys and girls that we serve., said Vandervort.
“When people give you negative feedback, use that to fuel your fire,” Sweet said.
Visit bgcSanDieguito.org or call (858) 755-9371 for more information.