By Molly Carlson
Why we play. This was the theme that was discussed and celebrated at the first annual Westonka Female Athletes Breakfast, which was held at the Westonka Performing Arts Center on March 14.
Organized by a group of female coaches from Westonka Schools, this breakfast pulled together female athletes from grades 8-12 to celebrate their successes, reflect on the idea of “Why We Play,” and look forward to the future of the female athletic programs in the school district.
Four senior athletes were asked to speak on the idea of “Why We Play.” Lauren Kelly, Taylor Smith, Maya Thurston and Ela Springer gave powerful speeches, reflecting on their high school athletic experiences. They covered a diverse range of reasons for why they have played and enjoyed participating in athletics throughout their time in Westonka. They discussed how athletics help female student-athletes academically and give them confidence in all areas of their lives.
The students touched on the fact that many of their favorite memories lie not in the competitions, but in experiences and memories made with the team. Also discussed was the fact that here in Westonka, female athletes are given so many opportunities that others do not have, and they have been grateful for each and every one of those opportunities.
Westonka Activities Director Jeff Peterson spoke as well, highlighting his past experiences as a coach of female athletes and celebrating the success of our current student-athletes and coaches. White Hawks coaches Bobbie Jo Tronsgard, Claire Goldsmith, Sara Schwartz and Molly Carlson also spoke at the event, sharing some of the accomplishments of female athletic programs in Westonka.
This is the first of many activities and celebrations of female athletes that this group hopes to host in the future.