Kathy Keeler ’78, Wesleyan’s only graduate to win an Olympic gold medal, spoke to participants at Wesleyan’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration Feb. 13 in Freeman Athletic Center. Keeler, who rowed at Wesleyan, stroked on the women’s eight crew to a top finish at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was a member of the U.S. national team in 1982 and was part of the women’s four that captured a silver medal at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland.
On Feb. 13, Wesleyan student athletes welcomed local girls to campus and recognized the courage, confidence, and character women and girls gain as they participate in sports.
February marks the 30th anniversary of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an event created to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports.
The Wesleyan Athletics Department celebrated by hosting a day of fun-filled sports activities for girls, ages 5-12. Participants took part in sports clinics, had lunch and discussions with Wesleyan’s female student-athletes and coaches, and cheered on the women’s basketball and ice hockey teams during their home games.
“In our experience volunteering in the community and during our conversations with local community leaders and teachers, it became evident that this would be a tremendously beneficial event for the young girls in our community,” said event organizer Jeff McDonald. “It provided them with an opportunity to connect with our student-athletes, see all the positives that athletics brings, and experience all the different types of sports available.”
McDonald, assistant football coach, coordinated the event with help from Kim Williams, head women’s lacrosse coach; Jen Lane, head softball coach; and Olivia Berry, assistant softball coach.
As part of the celebration, Wesleyan highlighted some of their female alumni who dominated in their respective sports, including Wesleyan’s own Olympic gold medalist, Kathy Keeler ’78, who gave a short address to the group at the start of the day. Read stories from other Wesleyan alumnae athletes here.
Photos of Wesleyan’s Girls and Women in Sports Day is below: (Photos by Ryan Heffernan ’16)
Read more →