NSU and SLU Hold Special Events to Commemorate National Girls and Women in Sports Day
Earlier this month, Nova Southeastern and Saint Leo held special events to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Since its inception in 1987, National Girls and Women in Sports Day has become the premiere occasion to celebrate the participation, success and accomplishments of girls and women athletes. What started in 1987 as a single event in Washington, D.C. to honor Olympic volleyball star Flo Hyman has grown into a nationwide celebration across all 50 states.
The NSU department of athletics welcomed USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan as the guest speaker at its annual Girls and Women in Sports Day Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 2.
Brennan served as the keynote speaker for the luncheon. She spoke to over 250 female student athletes about the importance of striving for more in the world of athletics. She described the sports landscape for women 40 years ago and discussed how Title IX has changed the country. NSU director of athletics Michael Mominey honored Brennan with the Pioneer Award for her accomplishments and dedication to sports.
NSU softball’s Sara DeMuth was presented the Flo Hyman award, which is given to a female student-athlete who captures former volleyball great, Flo Hyman's dignity, spirit and commitment to excellence. It honors the athlete who recognizes the far-reaching benefits of sports and who is determined to share these values with others. Major consideration is given to athletes who give time and energy so that there are greater sports opportunities for all girls and women.
Brennan is an award-winning sports columnist for USA Today, an ABC News and ESPN commentator, an NPR Morning Edition contributor, a best-selling author and a nationally-known speaker. Twice named one of the country's top 10 sports columnists by the Associated Press Sports Editors, she has covered 13 consecutive Olympic Games, summer and winter.
Among Brennan's honors, she was named the 1993 Capital Press Women's "Woman of Achievement;" named the University of North Carolina's 2002 Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecturer; won the 2003 Jake Wade Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America; was named Woman of the Year by WISE (Women in Sports and Events) in 2005; received the inaugural Women's Sports Foundation Billie Award for journalism in 2006; won Chi Omega's 2006 Woman of Achievement Award, and won Northwestern University's Alumni Service Award in 2007.
Also on Feb. 2, the Saint Leo University Department of Athletics held its annual banquet to pay tribute to the 26th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day. The Lions honored former NCAA President and current Co-Director for Alliance of Women Coaches Judith (Judy) Sweet as the recipient of the Saint Leo Women in Sports Achievement Award.
Saint Leo, which has one of the longest-running Girls and Women in Sports Day celebrations in the state of Florida, honored Sweet as the 17th recipient of the award on the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX. A groundbreaking individual who was the first female President of the NCAA, as well as a long-time Director of Athletics at the University of California, San Diego, Sweet personifies everything the National Girls & Women in Sports Day celebration stands for.
In recognizing Sweet, the Lions honored one of the first women in America to administer joint men's and women's athletics programs. Sweet was named Athletics Director at UC San Diego in 1975, and over the next 24 years supervised 23 sports programs. The program received the Sears Directors Cup for Division III in 1998 in recognition of the school's athletics success in NCAA championships for both men and women.
Sweet served on over 20 NCAA committees, including the NCAA Council and Executive Committee. In 1986, she was elected to a two-year term as Division III vice-president, and then to a two-year term as NCAA Secretary-Treasurer. In 1991, she became the first (and because of governance restructuring in 1997), and only female to serve as NCAA President - the Association's highest membership post. Sweet's other committee appointments includeed chairing the NCAA Council and Executive Committee in 1991-92, the Budget Subcommittee in 1989-90, the Special Advisory Committee to Review Recommendations Regarding Distribution of Revenues in 1990-97, and the Review and Planning Committee 1996-97 and the NCAA Foundation Board of Directors.
In her 35-plus year career in athletics Sweet has received over 40 awards including being named Division III Athletics Director of the Year for 1998-99 by NACDA. She also won the Honda Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women's Athletics in 1998 and was named Administrator of the Year in 1992 by NACWAA among numerous other awards. In 2006, she was included among the NCAA's 100 most influential student-athletes and was awarded the NCAA James J. Corbett Memorial Award for service. In 2007, she was named by the Institute for International Sports as one of the 100 most influential sports educators. In 2009, she was inducted into the Wisconsin State Sports Hall of Fame and was a 2011 inductee in the University of Wisconsin Hall of Fame.