Editor's Note: With National Girls and Women in Sports Day being celebrated on Feb. 5, the Lynx organization will be highlighting female athletes throughout the week. According to the Women's Sports Foundation, Education is the most effective way of remedying discrimination. Thus, National Girls and Women in Sports Day is not just a day to celebrate the achievements of women in sports to the exclusion of the achievement of male athletes. It is a day where males and females focus on (1) the importance of remedying past discrimination against women in sports, (2) the benefits of sports participation for girls, and (3) addressing the myths that have kept both boys and girls from supporting girls' sports participation; myths like "throws like a girl", girls who play sports are lesbians, girls who do gymnastics get eating disorders, etc. Today, we continue with Katie Yoder.
Name: Katie Yoder
School: Andover High School
What do you love most about sports?
Athletics have been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have had great experiences with sports in all forms; whether it be playing them, watching professionals on TV, or just making it to local games in the metro. I have grown to love sports because of my competitive nature, my need to be active, and most importantly, my love for the games. Basketball has always been my favorite sport and I am sad to see my senior year come to an end this spring, but have enjoyed every minute of my time on the court since first grade.
Who are female athletes you look up to? Why?
For the past five years I have been an avid Minnesota Lynx fan, therefore I have had the chance to see many amazing professional womens basketball players. However, my favorite WNBA player is Candice Wiggins. I remember watching Wiggins play her senior year at Stanford and begin her professional career with the Lynx. Candice is not necessarily always the best player on the court, but she always plays with tenacity, enthusiasm, and heart. Her presence in the game is always noticeable because of her positive attitude and perseverance. Candice Wiggins is someone I look up to not only because of her physical talent, but because of her leadership qualities as well.
Why do you think sports are important for you and other young female athletes?
Many people view sports as a way to stay in shape. They do that too, but I think there are other things that sports can teach young females that are more important. Being involved in athletics creates the chance for girls to learn teamwork and leadership. Sports help develop communication skills and mental toughness. These qualities may be learned on a court, field, or rink, but they are transferred to nonathletic activities as well.
How do sports help you stay active and fit?
As I stated earlier, sports are a great way to stay in shape. Joining friends together to play pick-up games is a fun and easy way to stay in active. Sports make working out an enjoyable activity, rather than a continuous obligation.
What lessons do you learn from sports that you use in everyday life?
Sports teach kids many important qualities at a young age. Team sports help girls learn cooperation, communication, and leadership. Individual sports help teach mental toughness and perseverance. The opportunities that athletics create for children are endless, and their impact is transferred to everyday life. Learning teamwork through sports helps with group work in classes, and learning perseverance reminds kids to give their all 100% of the time in order to achieve success.
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