The Rider Department of Athletics annually celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day. NGWSD began in 1987, evolving into an effort to bring attention to the achievements of female athletes, the positive influence of sports participation, and the challenges and issues facing females in sports.
The 2012 celebration will mark the 16th consecutive year the Rider has recognized NGWSD. In the past, Olympic athletes such as World Cup soccer player and Olympic gold medal winner Julie Foudy, track & field star Joetta Clark, two-time USA Olympic swimmer Cristina Teuscher, paralympian Jean Driscoll and basketball star Teresa Weatherspoon have joined Rider in this celebration.
In 2005, Joan Berger Knebl and Virginia “Jean” Ventura Manina, members of the 1952 Rockford Peaches who were featured in the movie A League of Their Own helped Rider celebrate NGSWD. Berger Knebl was an all-star second baseman in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League on which the 1991 film was based while Ventura Manina joined the Peaches in 1952 at the age of 15 and played two seasons at first base. The AAGPBL was formed in 1943 and ran for 13 seasons.
In 2010 Associate Professor of Biology Kelly Bidle was the speaker. A former Division I athlete who ran for years of varsity cross country and indoor and outdoor track at Rutgers University. Bidle graduated from Rutgers in 1991 with her B.S. in Biology, and obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Maryland.
As we continue our celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day the support and participation we receive from both former athletes and current ones helps to encourage the involvement of girls and women in athletics.