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Celebrating girls & women in sports

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

All this week higher education is honoring girls and women in sports. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a discussion on the importance of females in sports at Daemen College Monday. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley Gillibrand encourages women to 'stay in the game'.

"I learned about how to stick with it. Never to give up. Play against all odds,” said Senator Gillibrand.  Gillibrand encouraging young women athletics to use sports as a way of building confidence and power to use in their adult lives. 

Gillibrand used the example of her own time spent in athletics. Originally a tennis player, Gillibrand landed on a squash team at Dartmouth College. In a difficult match, she felt completely defeated, but it was her coach who encouraged her to keep playing.

“But what I remember most about my college career was that one match, and the reason why I remember it is because I learned something about myself. I learned about how to stick with it, how to never get up, how to play against all odds,” explained Gillibrand.     

44-years ago Title IX was approved was enacted by Congress prohibiting discrimination against girls and women in federally-funded athletics programs.

Various Daemen women athletes joined the conversation asking Senator Gillibrand for advice on 'leveling the playing field' in male-dominated industries.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

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Bridget Niland is Director of Athletics at Daemen College. She reminded the audience of how that moved women ahead in sports.

“There was a point in time when women didn’t have the right to the participation that we now have, let alone the opportunities that come with that participation,” said Niland.

Various Daemen women athletes joined the conversation asking Senator Gillibrand for advice on 'leveling the playing field'.  “So many of have aspiration to work in male-dominated industries. As one of only 20-female U.S. Senators, what advice can you provide those of us entry such industries,” asked a Daemen College female basketball player. 

“We have educational parity in this country, but when you get in the workplace, you will begin to see structural issues, and you have to fight them, because they will impede you on some level at some point,” responded Gillibrand.

Gllibrand also took the opportunity to remind the young women that their voices and vision are important in America. She said their advocacy can make a difference.