Charlotte, NC – The NJCAA, the first collegiate athletic association to sponsor women's championships, teamed up with its member institutions to celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day. Across the association's social media accounts, the NJCAA and its members highlighted historical firsts, from the first NJCAA women's volleyball championship in 1974 to notable accomplishments recorded by current and former student-athletes as well as coaches and contributors.
See also (via Twitter Moments): #NJCAA4NGWSD - 33rd Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day
In the theme of "Lead Her Forward," the NJCAA featured several quotes from women who have been successful beyond their playing days.
Jorden Smith is the head of both of Blinn's soccer programs that just completed their inaugural seasons — making her just one of a few female coaches in the @NJCAA to lead a men's team!— NJCAA Soccer (@NJCAA_Soccer) February 6, 2019
Also a former #NJCAASoccer athlete at Cisco, here's a part of what Smith said about #NGWSD ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dAf7liPGDr
"Being part of the NJCAA has been an incredible experience for me in both my playing and coaching careers. Being a former student-athlete in the NJCAA allowed me to focus on my academics and to grow and develop as an athlete in order to get to the next chapter, Lubbock Christian University. Playing in the NJCAA allowed me to compete at a high level and prepare for the next step in my career.
It is an honor to now coach in the NJCAA, and I am thankful that Blinn College gave me the opportunity to be a head women's and men's soccer coach. We, as coaches, are able to lay a foundation and provide structure to many student-athletes that go beyond academics or athletics. We also are able to focus on their goals and go to work every day to achieve them, not only in the classroom, but on the field as well. The NJCAA helped form and change my life and I consider it a privilege to be able to coach both men and women student-athletes in the NJCAA and give that opportunity back to today's student-athletes. Being living proof that the system works (NJCAA to the next level), I am in a unique position to help current student-athletes live out their dreams. Having been through the process, it gives me a great understanding of the highs and lows of being a student-athlete and what is expected at the next level. The ultimate goal is for my student-athletes to graduate with a degree, and playing soccer in the NJCAA is a great avenue to help them get there.
There are incredibly qualified women for positions in the sports industry. There have been and are several who are leading and causing a big shift in the sports world. To be able to open doors for other women who want to be involved in the sports industry is a huge milestone. Sports has the ability to generate change on every platform. It contributes to development, growth, self-esteem, and values. Sports are an area where we have the ability to engage with all audiences on all platforms."
— Jorden Smith, Blinn men's and women's soccer head coach (former Cisco soccer player)
Wanna know strong? That's Illinois Central HC Karrie Redeker. ��— NJCAA Basketball (@NJCAABasketball) February 6, 2019
Despite undergoing treatment for Stage IIA breast cancer, she's coached her team to No. 1 in the latest #NJCAAwbb DII rankings.
Redeker knows how sports can prepare young women for life ⬇️
#NJCAA4NGWSD #NGWSD pic.twitter.com/yCJhmzTtFB
Iowa Western head coach, Alicia Williams views her role at her alma mater as an opportunity to empower ���� the female student-athletes that she coaches, as they prepare for their futures. #NJCAA4NGWSD #NGWSD pic.twitter.com/ELHwpROH4Y— NJCAA Volleyball (@NJCAAVolleyball) February 6, 2019
Coming off back-to-back appearances to the #NJCAASoftball Division II Softball Championship tournament, Cowley head coach Jenny Hoyt speaks on how the sport of softball has impacted her life. ��#NJCAA4NGWSD #NGWSD pic.twitter.com/zkwR89MKzV— NJCAA Softball (@NJCAASoftball) February 6, 2019