How Has Sports Impacted Your Life?
Share Your Story With Us.
By Brian Martin, WNBA.com
Today, there is a young girl picking up a basketball for the first time. This morning, there is a woman in the pool training for her first triathlon. This afternoon, a woman will be in the gym working out to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. This evening, a woman will cheer on her daughter as she plays in a volleyball match.
Sports touch all of us in some way. From the casual fan to the professional athlete, we all have a unique story to tell about how sports have impacted our lives.
Today, as we celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, we want to open a discussion on the impact of sports in our lives and the growth of girls and women’s athletics in this country.
We have enlisted a cast of WNBA stars to share their stories with us and now we ask you to join them and tell your own story for all of us to hear.
Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever
“We all deal with different issues in our lives. I've had to deal with being different, not fitting in, and having to figure out what direction I wanted my life to go in. I can honestly say that playing sports has helped me with my confidence, with learning how to play and interact with others along with allowing me to experience things I don't know if I would've had been able to experience. Being able to travel around the world and play basketball along with seeing different cultures is something that I’ve been blessed with to have that opportunity.”
Ruth Riley, San Antonio Silver Stars
“There are so many moments where I have witnessed the powerful effects of women in sports: young girls who have worked their way up from adverse situations to gain a scholarship to college, others who have been beat down by the pressures of society and have used sports to gain confidence in who they are, professional athletes who recognize the amazing platform that sports has given them to be a role model and positively influence the lives of others, and there are the young girls I have met in Africa who's participation in sports teaches them valuable lessons, gets them off the streets and positively changes the cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS that is constant factor in their lives.”
Nakia Sanford, Washington Mystics
"My whole life is a story of how important sports are for young girls and women. I was teased to tears because of my height, my big feet, and my big hands. I was always different. I did things to try and fit in, and try to be accepted. Once I started playing sports, I didn’t need that acceptance, I was too busy practicing. My focus changed, and my personality. I grew more confident and more outgoing. These changes contributed to my success, along with a support system of coaches and teammates. I used to get teased for being long and lanky, now I get paid for it.”
Essence Carson, New York Liberty
"In my life I have come across many young women that have been blessed with the ability to be a successful athlete in high school. Many in which aspired to be college graduates. Coming from families with financial instability made those chances of obtaining a degree from a four year institute seem slim. However, their ability to be successful on the court, field, track, classroom, etc. increased those odds. Not only were those odds increased, but many young women's dreams became a reality. As one of those children, although my grandparents promised to get me through college no matter the cost, it was a true blessing to uplift the burden of paying thousands of dollars to an institution off of their shoulders. I allowed them to live comfortable, enjoy retirement, and be a part of making my own dream of being a college graduate turned pro athlete a reality."