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Meet the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Inaugural Essay Contest Winners

The Women’s Sports Foundation is excited to announce the winners of our first ever essay contest, celebrating the launch of our new Discussion Guide: “Empowering Girls Through Books and Sports” designed to keep girls in the game! The essay question, “What inspires you to keep playing?” was answered by 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls from our 2018 Sports 4 Life community programs.

A winning essay from each grade was selected by our Judging Committee, and the three winners will travel to New York City with a parent and a representative from their Sports 4 Life organization to attend our Annual Salute to Women in Sports Gala on October 16. At the Salute, the girls will be in the presence of the top women in sport, including WSF Founder Billie Jean King, WSF President Elana Meyers Taylor and 2018 Sportswoman of the Year recipient Oksana Masters. Tickets and tables to the Salute can be purchased here.

Meet our essay contest winners and read a small excerpt from their winning essay:

6th Grade:

Reilly, Ed Snider Youth Hockey Organization in Philadelphia, PA

Reilly has been passionate about ice hockey since she was 5 years old, when she learned to skate. At 8, she began practicing and joined the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Organization. She said she was shy when she first entered the program, but hockey has helped her open up and become more confident. She cites USA Hockey’s Lamoureux twins as her role models after meeting them at her hockey center.

“All these great opportunities happen to me, and I never want to take them for granted because some kids don’t have a chance like me. For this reason, hockey inspires me to play more and try to be an inspiration myself… Every practice I work hard and get better by improving. I want to attend the University of Wisconsin and play hockey for the Badgers.”

7th Grade:

Jyniah, Coastal Outreach Soccer, Brunswick, GA

Jyniah says she’s found a family within Coastal Outreach Soccer, and that her coach has inspired her to keep playing. She says soccer has helped her overcome challenges she never knew she could conquer, and that her grades have improved since she started playing.

“Soccer has changed my life so much, and I feel like a better person everyday…At the end of every season I feel that I matter and that all of my hard work has payed off. I go home with a vast smile on my face, knowing I’m part of something special.”

8th Grade:

Sophia, Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) Jr, Studio City, CA

Sophia discovered golf when she was 6 years old and has been playing ever since. She wrote that it has made her a better decision-maker on and off the course, and that she sees it as a stepping stone for women to overcome the inequality that they face today. Sophia also plays the piano.

“Golf is a unique sport as it can bring all kinds of people together: young and old, all ethnicities, different interests and occupations. I meet different people on the course then we go our separate ways.  However, in that couple of hours we have played together, despite our differences, we’ve bonded over the love of the game.”