The 20th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day was February 7, and the Santa Monica YWCA celebrated by playing host to 150 sixth grade girls from John Adams Middle School.
The fun-filled day included motivational talks by professional and collegiate athletes and hands-on practice in gymnastics, soccer, volleyball and basketball, as well as fitness and strength training. Surfing lessons took place in the parking lot.
Coincidentally, with 30 percent of the nation’s children ages 6-19 either obese or at risk of being so, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, introduced a bill designed to help high schools improve athletic opportunities for girls and encourage greater parti-cipation in sports.
With adolescent females twice as likely to suffer from depression, Rep. Slaughter said, “Girls who participate in sports are healthier, more confident, receive higher grades and have access to more opportunities than non-athletes.”
The Santa Monica YWCA has been doing its share for the past 19 years with its girls’ basketball league, which gave thousands of girls the opportunity to experience competitive basketball, develop skills and learn teamwork.