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Approximately 50 young girls from the area, including several Brownie’s and Girl Scout troops, participated in Florida State’s National Girls and Women In Sports Day on February 9th at the FSU Center of Professional Development/Turnbull Center. Members of the Florida State Kappa Deltas, the Seminole cheerleaders and well as student-athletes from various women’s sports participated in the event. Guest speakers for the event included Barbara Harris, former FSU student-athlete and editor-in-chief Shape Magazine, and FSU Athletics’ sports nutritionist Amy Magnuson.
Following the welcome and introductions, Harris spoke to the group for about 20 minutes about making a difference in the world and about the lessons one can learn from participating in sports.
“You’re here to make a difference in the world,” she said. “Every single one of us is here on this earth to contribute in some special way. Each of us has special talents and abilities and sports will help you. Lots of important lessons are learned when we play sports.”
She covered four important points in her speech, beginning with how everyone makes a difference.
“The manager on the team is just as important as the captain on the team, who is just as important as the coach, who is just as important as the person who keeps score,” Harris said. “The person who sits on the bench, who gives a pat on the back and encourages her teammates is just as important as the person who scores the final point and wins the game. Every single person on the team shares in that victory. Remember, everyone makes a difference.”
Believing in yourself was her next point.
“Believe that you have special talents and abilities that no one else has,” Harris said. “Value what you don’t do well. If you’re not good at something, let it help you choose what you are actually good at. You must believe, because everyone around you will believe in you.”
Her third topic was to never be afraid to fail
“No one likes making mistakes,” she said. “But what’s important to learn from making a mistake is recognizing that everyone makes mistakes, because if you never fall short of your goals, it means that you are not reaching high enough. In sports, you learn not only to win, but how to accept losing and being a good sport. It’s easy to win, but it’s difficult to accept disappointment, but that’s a part of life. Never be afraid to fail, never apologize and never be embarrassed if you make a mistake. The only time you should be embarrassed is if you didn’t give it your all. If you give your all, but fall short of your goals, hold your head high and in your own way, you’ve just won.”
Lastly, she spoke about that you should never quit on your dreams.
“What ever you dream that you want from life, never ever quit on your dream,” Harris said. “In practice or when playing a game, you’re going to become frustrated and tired, but the most important thing to learn is to stick with it and persevere. That’s the difference between those people who reach their dreams and those who only wish.”
Magnuson, who was a Girl Scout and sold Girl Scout cookies herself, works with FSU’s student-athletes and counsels them on nutrition in sport. She spoke to the girls about setting good eating and exercise habits early and how important nutrition is for young girls, especially those who aspire to playing sports.
There were question and answer sessions throughout the program as well as plenty of give-a-ways and prizes for all of the participants. Following lunch, the girls headed over to the Leon County Civic Center where they played on inflatable games and then watched the women’s basketball team beat Wake Forest.
“I thought today was great and I had a really great time,” six-year old Cheyenne said. “I know that I’m going to come here next time. I learned a lot about sports that I didn’t know and it was fun meeting the girls.”
The girls also got to mingle and spend time with the following participating student-athletes:
Kris Tamulis, golf
junior, former Brownie and Girl Scout, started playing golf at age three, member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll
Alison Curdt, golf
sophomore, member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll, psychology major
Cindy Schofield, soccer
junior, Florida High School record-holder for career goals and second in the nation, majoring in marketing and would like to work for Nike
Meredith Jones, soccer
junior, former Girl Scout, member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll, bio-chemistry major
Dawn Hough, volleyball
junior, former Brownie, grew three inches before going into the ninth grade and is now 6-2, wants to coach high school volleyball and teach physical education
Jennifer Anderson, volleyball
sophomore, former Brownie, started playing volleyball in 3rd grade, would like to coach high school volleyball, mother is a volleyball coach