WSF Giving Day 2023 Stories

The Women’s Sports Foundation thanks all of our community members who donated so generously to our 2023 WSF Giving Day on May 4, 2023. We are also grateful to those who shared stories or notes about the mentors, teachers, parents, friends and others who have inspired you to #KeepPlaying.

Here are some of the reflections you shared…

My four-year-old grand niece Kennedy, who on Women’s Sports Day in the UNC gym was introduced to sport after sport by supportive women athletes. She hit hockey balls, balanced on the beam, ran a relay race, fenced, bumped the volley ball. Opportunities!
– Jean Smith

I am profoundly inspired by the many Alumnae who return to visit my high school teams, to remind us the incredibly positive impact playing a sport had, and continues to have, on their lives.These young women are true heroines!!
– Deborah Matos

Tina Meinhardt played football in the semi-pro women’s football league, breaking barriers and norms. She created a women’s mountain bike group, Girls, Gears and Beers, and has grown that into a business to support and coach women.
– Leah Dolan-Kelley

The Minnesota Checkers who won the world girls’ ice hockey cup in 1979 — before the men won the Olympics in 1980 — but no one has heard about it. Because they were girls and “girls don’t play hockey.”
– Leslie Bates

Zanbanger and Zanballer were some of my favorite novels as a kid. We lived near the Arboreetum in Seattle and were free to play alone in the woods or ride our bikes for hours as long as we had our dog along. Girls need the freedom to play.
– Cassandra O’Neal

Deb is our pickleball champ & is competing in the semi-finals senior olympics!  She is an inspiration’..
– Diane Leone

I am inspired by Chris Voelz, an advocate for me and so many women student-athletes. Go Gophs!
– Jonda Hughes

The greatest team ever!! 🙂
– Sarah Axelson

I’m giving in honor of Deborah Antoine, friend and mentor, who opened the world of women’s sports to me by bringing me on the WSF team three years ago.
– Jean Tatge

My mother: She went to law school at 33 (with two kids!) and had a successful career as an attorney for several decades. She always taught us about gender equity in life – school, healthcare, careers, etc. And my dad too – he supported her & gender equity
– Robin Harris

Dorothy V. Harris PhD, my academic advisor for my doctoral program at Penn State, who died prior to my graduation, and who supported WSF.
– Alesia Goginsky

Former coach and AD at Marietta College, Debbie Lazorik, she was my volleyball coach there, and showed us how women could succeed as coaches, mentors and mothers.
– Nancy Brucken

I would like to honor Dr. Carole Oglesby
– Susan Schafer

Growing up in a family of girls and boys who played sports together, I’ve always defended gender equity as an essential part of life. Today, Athlete Strategies works to increase visibility and opportunity for female athletes everywhere to even the field!
– Anthony Baldini

In 1966 Arnie Briggs, 50, was a volunteer ‘coach’ for the Syracuse Univ x-country team. He showed me, age 19, how to run, and helped me sign up for the 1967 Boston Marathon. It was a race that changed women’s sports history. And my life. I owe him so much.
– Kathrine Switzer

I played varsity and pro squash then coached for 40 years. One of the few women Head squash coaches for a men’s and women’s varsity team.
– Wendy Lawrence

My late father, Bob Martin, who let me sneak into Little League baseball games and Boy’s Club basketball games he coached. He always said “Play until they tell you to stop.”. (This was in the late 1960’s and 1970’s when girls could not participate.
– Kathryn Martin

My daughter, Rose, inspires me through her efforts in trying to create gender equality in sports. She has done various school projects and fundraisers for WSF. She is and will continue to be the kind of change maker our world needs.
– Caren Cadile

My parents who shared their love of tennis, skiing and hiking, along with their mantra to always keep moving!
– Cheryl Bliss

My 15 year old daughter Samantha inspires me as her mom to #KeepPlaying. Watching her confidence on the soccer field inspires me to continue to give it my all trying new fitness activities and workouts with the same level of passion and joy.
– Bonnie Block