7 Athletes Reflect On National Girls & Women In Sports Day


7 Athletes Reflect on National Girls & Women In Sports Day

Wednesday, February 3rd is the 35th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). It is a day to acknowledge and inspire girls and women to build confidence in themselves and to realize their full potential in their sport.

Today Swimming World would like to recognize just a few of the many strong leaders in swimming as they inspire the next generation of athletes.

1. What does National Women and Girls in Sports Day mean to you?

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Photo Courtesy: Maddy Banic

“It means many things – confidence, strength, empowerment in myself as a female athlete. It also gives me such pride in having the opportunity to continue to motivate, mentor and lead the next generation!” -Katie Hoff

“Being a woman who plays sport at an elite level makes me feel empowered every single day. In a society that focuses on what we look like and how we present ourselves, my sport gives me a strong hardworking body and an independent never-quit attitude that I’m proud to show to the world. I hope to inspire the next generation to never let any stereotype hold you back and to be proud of what you can accomplish.” -Maddy Banic

 2. What is your advice to athletes on reaching their full potential in their sport?


Photo Courtesy: Katie Hoff

“Take time to appreciate and celebrate the small wins so you practice consistency daily. It’s the key to success and overall continued motivation in the sport!” -Katie Hoff

“My advice to athletes on reaching their full potential in their sport would be to not compare your journey to anyone else’s. Everyone peaks and plateaus at different times, and your road in the sport is yours alone. In addition, make sure to lean on your support system – family, friends, coaches, teammates. Lastly, make each workout count – don’t just go through the motions!” -Ashley Twichell

“My best advice to reach your full potential is to do something you are passionate about, especially if it’s swimming! It’s hard to put all the time into something, so it really makes a difference when you care and have passion for it. Also to enjoy the little moments along the way.” -Haley Anderson


3. What advice would you tell your younger self?


Photo Courtesy: Haley Anderson

“I would tell my younger self to not be so hard on myself about bad workouts or races. Instead, use them as learning experiences and motivation to make the next ones better!” -Ashley Twichell

“I would love to tell my younger self to not worry so much. I was very concerned about what others thought and now I know what a waste of energy that is.” -Haley Anderson

“I would tell my younger self to continue being the confident person you are. Trust yourself, your coaches, and the process and you will go big places in life.” -Lilly King



Photo Courtesy: Lilly King

4. Who is a woman athlete who has inspired YOU?


Photo Courtesy: Colleen Young

“A female athlete that I’ve always looked up to has been Rebecca Soni. She was the first person to break 2:20 in the long course 200m breaststroke and she’s just a trailblazer and I think it’s absolutely incredible.” -Colleen Young

“My two favorite female athletes are Alyssa and Jordan Anderson. My sisters have taught me so much. Just by watching them over the years I have learned different lessons that really helped me get to where I am.” -Haley Anderson


5. When do you feel most empowered as a female athlete?


Photo Courtesy: Ashley Twichell

“I feel most empowered as a female athlete when I am at a training camp and crushing a hard set with a bunch of the amazing women on the National Team, all pushing and motivating each other to be our best.” -Ashley Twichell

“I feel most empowered when I come back after a struggle to break through. Whether it’s a time barrier I have been working toward, exercises in the gym or a mental block I’ve had. It’s not always smooth sailing but knowing there is always progress to make.” -Haley Anderson

“As a woman on the USA Swimming National Team and former Lady Vol, I have seen and experienced the impact that female athletes have in the sport of swimming. This sport has taught me determination, perseverance and the importance of communication in creating relationships with a group of strong-willed women. We have the power to unite and bring joy to the sport of swimming when we work together and protect our values for each other and in our sport. So go reach out to your teammates and let them know how much they mean to you.” -Erika Brown




From Women’s Sports Foundation

The History of NGWSD

National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) began in 1987 as a special day in our nation’s capital to recognize women’s sports. The day united premiere organizations and elite female athletes to bring national attention to the promise of girls and women in sports.