The following remarks were shared by Lisa Marshall, Girls Varsity Hockey Head Coach, at all-school meeting on Monday, January 6, 2020.
When I was three years old, The Lion King hit theaters for the first time. Before the movie ended, I knew in my heart that when I grew up, I wanted to be a lion.
It wasn’t until I saw a man holding onto the back of a garbage truck, zipping around my neighborhood that I was swayed, realizing that maybe I wanted to be a garbageman.
When I turned five years old, my parents finally gave in and signed me up to play hockey, just like my older brother. As soon as I had my own equipment, invincible within my armor and beneath my helmet, I had fallen in love. I was born to be a hockey player.
A lot of what we dream is based upon what and who we see.
I’m up here today to share about a new Berkshire tradition. On Friday, at 6 p.m., the girls varsity hockey team will host BBN for the inaugural Skate for Her game. All proceeds from the event will be donated to this year’s event beneficiary, the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF).
In the words of tennis legend and the WSF’s founder, Billie Jean King, “She needs to see it, to be it.” The WSF creates access and funds opportunities for young girls all around the country to play sports. Why only females? Two in five girls compared to four in five boys play on sports teams by the end of high school.
Raise your hand if you’ve played an organized sport and learned something from the experience?
Sports can change lives.
A few examples of events sponsored by WSF that you may be familiar with are: Girls in the Game, Sports 4 Life, Harlem Lacrosse, and Go-Girl-Go. The Foundation cites that lifelong benefits can be seen through physical, social, and emotional health. Plus, the development of self-esteem, confidence, empowerment, and access to a positive outlet.
So where are the women in sports?
In 2014, only 3.2% of national sports media coverage depicted female athletes. This year, only one woman made it onto the Forbes Top 100 list of Athletes: Serena Williams at number 63. When polled, 94% of women holding C level jobs (CEO, CFO, etc.) played sports and cited the experience as "life-changing."
Okay, women, I get it, right? So why is this important to everyone? Well, roughly half of the world population is female.
So, to all of us: Our classmates, teachers, moms, aunts, sisters, and a long way down the road, maybe even future daughters, deserve to see female role models. Everyone deserves to learn life lessons, gain confidence, create lasting relationships, and most importantly, to dream.
This week, players will be selling pom-pom hats at lunch, and then on Friday at 6 p.m., in the Jack, we invite you to support Girls Varsity Hockey. There will be little girls joining the teams for starting line-ups. Berkshire will wear custom jerseys that they’ve designed, that will then be auctioned off following the game. Members of the first-ever girls hockey team at Berkshire will be honored during the first intermission. There will be a cash and Venmo concession stand with hot dogs, snacks, chuck-a-puck, and even an opportunity to skate with the Bears following the game. All proceeds will be donated to the Women's Sports Foundation.
So, whether it be a lion, a garbageman, or even a hockey player, let’s create an opportunity for dreams to be seen.
We hope to see you all at the inaugural Skate for Her game and look forward to the start of another exciting tradition under the Mountain.