in artivcleKissimmee, FL-February 3, 2016-Today marks a day when girls and women in sport are celebrated. For thirty years now February 3rd is a celebration of not only how far women in sport have come but a reminder to appreciate the opportunity that is given to all female athletes today.
What started off as a day to recognize women’s sports nationally and commemorate a pioneer in the fight for equality gradually expanded to mean a lot more.

From that initial recognition and commemoration has come a great deal of new ideas to celebrate on this day. This day represents the empowerment of women and girls in every aspect of their life beyond the world of sport. It also recognizes the efforts of those pioneers who overcame adversity to provide these opportunities for women in sport and to encourage greatness.

This year, National Girls & Women in Sports Day celebrates with the theme of “Leading the Way”. This is not only a way of acknowledging the individuals and organizations that have paved the way for women in sport but a reminder that there is still a need for that leadership.

Don’t forget to celebrate today and get involved on social media using the hashtag #NGWSD and share what this day means to you.

Read below what the 30th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day means to a few of our Pride players:

Jordan Taylor

National Girls & Women in Sports Day is one of those holidays/events that makes me stop and realize how fortunate I have been in my life, so far. You constantly hear female athletes say that her respective sport has changed her life for the better. There’s definitely a reason for that. To think about all the amazing people, coaches, mentors, players, administrators, pioneers, etc. in the world of softball is astounding. And that’s just ONE sport! When you think of every female athlete, current and former, who has impacted her sport and/or beyond, it’s just simply awe-inspiring.

The role models that are available for young girl’s today, as compared to even just 20 years ago, is attributed to all the tenacious women who inspired the next generation. To say that you have competed in women’s athletics, at any level, is a tribute to the women (and men) who paved the way. It saddens me to learn that some current female athletes do not know what Title IX entails or the direct impact it has on their lives. I was extremely lucky to have a head coach and mentor in Carol Hutchins, who was/is one of those pioneers. It was ingrained on me the day I stepped on campus at University of Michigan to be thankful, respectful, and knowledgeable about those who came before us and what they did for us to be there. At some point, I even had the 36 words of Title IX memorized.

Former and current female athletes are some of the strongest, most resilient women I have ever come across. I am extremely thankful as a female athlete to have multiple resolute, fervent, and (mainly) stubborn women to look up to. My mother is my greatest role model. She taught me to be confident in my actions and demeanor; to be gracious in defeat and unyielding in competition. That confidence started with her but only grew with the coaches through my life. Now that I’m in the coaching world, I can only hope to instill the same values in my players. The idea of impacting someone’s life for the better, to pass on the living legend that is female athletics, is truly humbling. Happy National Girls & Women in Sports Day! Honor those who came before and let those to come get a little dirty :)”

Lauren Chamberlain

Growing up I didn’t know much about this day. But now, as a professional athlete and getting to play softball as my job, I understand the importance and necessity to encourage young girls in their sports endeavors, and support and honor the women that lead everywhere now due to what sport has given them.

What is learned through sport can propel young girls into leading women. Fight, grit, assertiveness, passion…These can all be developed on a field, court, floor, etc.

Today and everyday we celebrate everything that sport has given girls and women, and those who came before to make it possible. Playing has helped shape us into who we are today- strong, confident, and leading the way!”

Amanda Kamekona

“Thank you to all the fierce woman who have come before me to make my sports experience in college and at the professional level possible & here’s to future trail blazers! Cheers!”

Andi Williamson

Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day!! A special thanks to all the role models that have paved the way in Women’s athletics & have allowed us the opportunity to live out our dreams! Sports have molded the person I am today & I’m so blessed & thankful for all the opportunities sports especially softball continues to bring into my life! #PlayLikeAGirl #NGWSD

Learn more at NGWSD.org

About USSSA Florida Pride: The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.

About USSSA: USSSA is headquartered in Osceola County, Florida. USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA.

About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.  The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).  NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball and has been since 2002.