In honor of the 34th National Girls and Women in Sports Day, USD held their fourth-annual all-girls sports clinic on Sunday inside the DakotaDome.
The free clinic saw Coyote athletes from the volleyball, swim and dive, track and field, golf, softball and soccer teams run stations instructing young women from kindergarten to eighth grade in various activities.
Lolo Weideman, sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist for the volleyball team, said she was excited to see all the participants come out and enjoy themselves.
“Honestly, I like seeing how excited they are to learn new things and all their different personalities and how much they enjoy all the different activities we’re doing,” Weideman said.
Each station included activities similar to specific drills and techniques the athletes running the station would practice. Activities included setting and hitting a volleyball, sprints with batons, routine soccer drills, batting practice off of tees, a putting session, mimicked diving rotations on a gymnastics mat and swimming motions taught by having participants glide stomach-down on a skateboard.
The swim and dive teams also provided temporary USD tattoos to all the participants.
“I think it’s very important for them to try new things, especially to figure out what they enjoy,” Weideman said. “If they don’t even try it, they might not know what they love to do.”
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Sophomore golfer Julia Hall agreed it is important for young women to try new things. She said sports have helped her grow and get to where she is today.
“Sports have taught me so many important lessons, golf especially,” Hall said. “It’s taught me integrity, responsibility and really given me a lot of choices and has brought me to an amazing school here at USD.”
In addition, Hall said she was glad to be passing on some of the knowledge she has gained through golf.
“I was just excited to kind of pass on the knowledge and show that golf can be just as fun as other sports and just to get involved more with the community here in Vermillion,” Hall said.
Sophomore swimmer Delaney Kottke said through the family-like bond sports have given her, it has helped shape her into the woman she is today as well.
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“You learn so much through sports, whether it’s learning how to practice, learning how to meet new people, how to make goals in life,” Kottke said. “I think it’s something you carry with you throughout life.”
Kottke said she feels it is important for athletes at USD to continue to hold events similar to this one in the future.
“I think it’s so important for them to see how they can choose what they want to do, how they want to get involved and see how the older girls work with their sports,” Kottke said. “It’s so fun to see how excited they are. I think it’s so important because these little girls look up to us.”