Women’s Empowerment Conference discusses the rise of women in sport | Knightly News

Members of the public listen to guest speakers at the Third Annual Women’s Empowerment Conference Thursday in the Student Union’s Pegasus Ballroom. This year’s theme was “Play Like a Girl” with guest speakers Hannah Jo Groves, Kellie Campbell, Taylor Anderson and Kayla Burge.

With leagues like the WNBA speaking out, women’s involvement in sports has been a growing topic in recent years.

The United States Women’s National Soccer Team and the WNBA brought the topic to light in 2020 when the two organizations began discussing women’s inequality in sports.

Women made up 44% of all college athletes in 2021, compared to 56% for men, according to NCAA. But in sport in general, only 25% of women play sports compared to 43% of men.

To continue the discussion, the UCF Student Government hosted its third annual Women’s Empowerment Conference on Thursday. With this year’s theme being ‘Play Like a Girl’, members of the public and guest speakers gathered at the Pegasus Ballroom at the Student Union to discuss the stigma they face in the sports world. .

The conference aimed to uplift women and inspire them to have confidence in their abilities.

“You can do whatever you decide to do at your own pace,” said guest speaker Kellie Campbell. “Sport is important, and it’s a constant sense of community regardless of the circumstances. If you really want to do something, you can do it, and don’t set a deadline because most of the time it doesn’t happen. is not realistic.”

The conference also brought women together to have conversations to showcase their strengths in the sports world.

“The advice they gave today goes way beyond sports,” said conference attendee Stacie Sayers. “It’s really like life lessons and just women supporting women, which I think is the biggest problem in society these days.”

Progress is being made as the USWNT reaches a $24 million equal pay settlement with the american soccer federation in February. Now Sayers said it brings hope to women in sport around the world to be seen as equals in the future.

“The future for women in sport looks very bright,” Sayers said. “After recent events, I’m excited to see everything happening now that we have the world’s attention.”

Mara R. Wilmoth