By: Katherine O'Toole - Maryland Media Relations Student Assistant
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland student-athletes and young women joined forces Thursday evening in Comcast Pavilion to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
Though the official holiday was Wednesday, girls in kindergarten through eighth grade got together with female Maryland student-athletes to participate in a variety of games that built teamwork before attending the women’s basketball game against Pittsburgh at Comcast Center Thursday night.
At the final media timeout of the first half, the girls were honored and waved posters to the crowd that they had made earlier that evening to support the Terrapins.
Arielle Statham of the Maryland track & field team was proud to participate in this event for the second consecutive year. She is a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which hosted the event.
“Coming back again this year just feels really good,” Statham said. “Seeing all the girls from where I started, just beginning their sport or doing it for a few years now, and they’re so excited about it. It makes me more excited to do my sport. I’m glad to have the opportunity to participate in everything.”
The event was not just rewarding for the Terps who participated, it made a true impact on the youth involved. Bianca Johnson, 12, had a great time at the event and took away an important message about women in sports.
“I think that it’s really cool how women have come so far that they can play sports,” Johnson said. “I think that it’s really cool that you can actually meet them and ask them questions.”
Though Johnson has a few more years before she has to worry about college, she took the opportunity to ask the student-athletes all of the questions she has been wondering about, namely what life is like on a college campus and what each of the girls are majoring in.
An avid basketball player, Johnson is not quite sure what her future holds, but she was glad to have this opportunity to learn first-hand from the kind of women she looks up to.