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Local organization offers free event to empower young girls in sports

A close up of a runner's legs as they prepare for a race. Their hands are on the ground as they hold a baton.
Braden Collum
Girls grades nine through twelve involved in sports can attend a first of its kind workshop on July 18th at Battle High School in Columbia.

"Win Every Day," a sports leadership workshop for girls in Columbia in grades 9-12, is hosted by the Women's Intersport Network, "WIN," for Columbia. The all-volunteer organization focuses on increasing girls' participation in sports. Mitzi Clayton, the president, said the workshop will have expert speakers on topics not normally discussed in youth sports: things like body image and how to manage anxiety.

“We want to really make this an opportunity for students to learn, realize they're not alone, and network and maybe a little bit allow themselves to be vulnerable," she said.

The day will be broken apart with speakers, activities and a final exercise on power posing—described as a "life hack" that improves posture and connects it to confidence.

"I think you'll find that the topics we discuss and the skills that we try to provide a guidance on can contribute to just leadership in any capacity," she added. "Whether you are in theater, or running for student council, giving a speech in a class, whatever the case might be, tools that we help equip students with at this event will help them in their everyday lives."

Clayton said registration through WIN for Columbia is ideal by July 1 so the organization can order enough T-shirts in the right sizes. The event at Battle High School is free to attend, and participants will receive free lunch from Love Coffee along with the T-shirts and other prizes.

“We want to do everything in our power to eliminate barriers for students to come and get this information if they are so inclined," Clayton said.

At the end of the event, WIN for Columbia will be handing out a $500 scholarship to help in anything from higher education to buying sports equipment. Along with teams, coaches are also invited to attend to hear and learn from the speakers.

"I hope that [participants] feel empowered," Clayton said. "I hope that they feel like they're not alone and confident that there are maybe new people they've met or teammates that they've grown closer to as they embark upon their next academic year and their sports seasons."

Clayton said WIN for Columbia intends to make this an annual workshop and rotate to other Columbia high schools.

Kassidy Arena was the Engagement Producer for KBIA from 2022-2023. In her role, she reported and produced stories highlighting underrepresented communities, focused on community outreach and promoting media literacy. She was born in Berkeley, California, raised in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated with a degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
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