Drake University Hosts Free Sports Clinic for Young Girls

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Drake University held a sports clinic on Sunday for young girls before the women’s basketball game against Missouri State.

During the clinic, girls learned about of several different sports from student athletes and coaches. One Des Moines mom brought her daughter because she wanted her to see sports aren’t just for the boys.

“I wanted to bring Miya to the event because I wanted to get her the exposure to all the different athletes and all the women athletes around. I think it’s important for her to understand that not only boys and men can do the sports, women can do it, as well,” Christin Phiathep said.

Drake University women's basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk said the clinic was important for exactly that reason.

“Sport is such a great team builder, confidence builder, self-esteem builder, and so when we can really have good coaches and good role models like these women today, it doesn’t matter what sport it is. Doesn’t matter if it’s basketball, doesn’t matter if it’s volleyball, cross country, soccer, you name it," Baranczyk said. "So that’s what’s really important, that these young girls get to come here, experience these wonderful student athletes, and just have fun."

Phiathep’s daughter Miya really enjoys basketball and wants to be a Drake Bulldog in the future.

“She loves watching the games on TV, and so being here actually in the court, it’s going to be super amazing,”

Not only did these young girls learn about different sports, they learned about what it means to be a team.

“So many times we worry so much about what other people are doing and we overvalue what everybody else does. We have to understand our own value, but we also have to understand the value of people around us, as well, and that’s when magic happens, is when you can get on a team and you understand your value and you understand their value, really great things happen. You can’t tell me it’s just in a sport that that can happen, it can happen anywhere. But a sport is a great catalyst for it,” Baranczyk said.

All of the girls and their families got to attend the women’s basketball game for free after the clinic on Sunday. Drake beat Missouri State 84 to 65.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day is February 7th.