GAMBIER — Who knows where the love of the game is born.
Maybe the Kenyon athletics department has an idea, running clinics like the one Sunday afternoon that observed National Girls and Women in Sports Day Sunday at the Kenyon Athletic Center.
The event has been running for over 15 years according to women’s soccer coach Kelly Bryan.
“I really just like this event because both our girls and the kids an opportunity to connect and hopefully build a relationship that makes them want to keep coming back,” Kenyon volleyball coach Kendra Mosher said.
Mosher estimated that around 140 girls participated in the event.
“I love that it inspires the younger girls as much as it does the college athletes,” Bryan said. “It’s good for all of them. The older athletes get reminded that they’re a mentor and that girls are looking up to them. Maybe now, some of the younger ones will aspire to play after high school.”
Kids at the event participated in sessions with several sports such as soccer, track and field, lacrosse, softball, field hockey, volleyball and basketball.
They were divided into seven groups and spent about 15 minutes with each sport learning basic drills run by Kenyon athletes.
In soccer, kids did a dribbling drill that involved zig-zagging cones as well as a touch-pass and shoot drill.
Kenyon athletes demonstrated things like leaping backwards onto a big cushion for high jump. They leapt into the sand pit with a running start for the long jump event. They also ran over some small hurdles and even simulated a javelin throw – kid-friendly, of course.
Area sports where there is less participation like field hockey and lacrosse, there were demonstrations of how to hold a stick or carry or dribble the ball. Lacrosse simulated Hungry, Hungry Hippos to demonstrate how to pick up a ball with the stick and they did relay races in field hockey to learn dribbling and passing.
The kids learned how to receive, set and spike a volleyball and played knockout in basketball.
“I really like it for our players because it gives them a great opportunity to get out of their shell and hopefully make a connection with a girl and be a good mentor to them,” Mosher said.
After the clinic portion was over, kids were treated to snacks as well as a photo booth where they could take pictures wearing Kenyon athletic gear and uniforms. There was also a short presentation that talked about Title IX.
“The photo booth and the presentation … that was something that was just started last year,” Mosher said. “I thought it went really well. My biggest goal is that I want them to want to be involved in sports in some way.”
Mosher took over the clinic for the first time this year after Bryan had run it for the previous 15 years.
“It meant a lot to me getting to learn and grow from this,” Bryan said. “(Mosher) has come up with so many new ideas like the photo booth and the Title IX video. She did a great job of bringing some fresh ideas to it and then she did a great job of just organizing it.”
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