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Female Northern Colorado athletes connect with aspiring athletes at campus event

By Rachel Turnock
On February 11, 2013

Before the UNC female athletes began playing collegiate sports, they had a chance to look up to older athletes to help guide them.
On Feb. 7 in the gyms of the Campus Recreation Center, those same athletes were the ones being role models with the help of the Colorado Women's Sports Fund Association.

CWSFA is the non-profit organization that offered the chance for the University of Northern Colorado female athletes to give back to the Greeley community after all the support they receive at home games and matches. It also allowed local, national and even international girls and women the chance to participate in amateur sports.

Lyndsey Oates, the head coach of the Bears volleyball team, said this was her fifth year attending the event and stressed its importance to the UNC athletic teams as they have the opportunity to thank those who cheer them on.

"These are the same girls that are in the stands cheering for us in the fall, so it's important that we give back to them, and I love that it's a free clinic so it really is giving back to the community," Oates said. "It's really to raise awareness, and it's a privilege as a female to play sports. I mean, a couple of generations ago, they didn't get this opportunity."

Aside from coaches in attendance, there were athletes from the volleyball, soccer and swimming and diving teams. Girls and women in varying age groups and ability levels attended the clinic and had a certain amount of time at each station, where they were instructed in the basics of the sport by the coaches and athletes from that team.

One of the soccer players present was senior midfielder JJ Wykstra, who said she enjoyed coming to the clinic to work with the girls and women and tries to give off a positive attitude.

"We try to bring a lot of energy in so that they're excited about being here and they're excited about soccer and just that they're excited about women's sports in general," Wykstra said.

Joe Skelton, the President of the CWSFA, said the Bears have a very close tie to the association and always help fulfill the organization's goals.

"Our whole purpose is we still feel like that (sic) girls and women don't get enough support, if you will, for participating in sports," Skelton said. "We think it's so positive that they participate in sports, so we created an organization to help do that across all ages."

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