Beyond Athletics

It’s Time For Women Who Succeed In Sports To Get Recognized.

a group of women succeed in sports at NCSA during a WISE event on business leadership

(Employees from NCSA — including our president and COO, Lisa Strasman — at a Women in Sports and Events (WISE) event.)

As we currently find ourselves heavy into football playoffs and hockey season, it seems like the perfect time to give a shout out to women who succeed in sports. (Because, let’s be honest, who truly runs the world?)

While not always snagging the front page or prime time airwaves, there are some seriously awesome gals out there right now who know how to get the job done on the court. (Or field, or course, or pool…)

So let’s throw it back to the fifth grade. (For me, that was such an awkward phase.)

Not so for these 10- and 11-year old girls, who make up the Central Illinois Xpress, the only all-girls basketball team in their league. 8-2 so far this season, it’s safe to say these girls are holding their own on the court. And their coach, Tariq Toran, who also happens to coach an area DIII school men’s college team, says it’s not about playing against boys, or about girls playing basketball.

“I prepared them like they were collegiate men. We got the pads out, (and) I started using medicine balls and started using a lot of weighted material to give them just the lure of how it would feel with contact. We were hitting them with the pads like they were at a collegiate practice, and they embraced it and they loved it.”

I’d say they’ve caught on, Coach.

I still love ESPNW’s Impact 25 list we shared a few weeks ago for inspiration, but this next group of kick-butt women is another group too good to pass up. I know — 2014 was so last year, but check out this Top 20 of 2014, compiled of names like Serena Williams, Condoleezza Rice, Mo’ne Davis, Shelly Sterling, and one we hold near and dear – Leah Still – all on the same list, for one reason or another.

It’s a cool, informative, entertaining look back at the women of sports in 2014, and who to keep our eye on in 2015. Girl power at its finest – and we’re digging it!

About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.