Mac Kay: Women in Sports

Graphic by Miguel Martinez

National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) is coming up on Feb. 5, 2020 and places all over the country, including Rowan University, have events planned to recognize the stars of the past and present and to encourage the stars of the future.

Looking around all sports right now though, the future is already out there making names for themselves. 

One sport that keeps proving that their future is bright after each major event is women’s tennis. Over the last couple weeks, the Australian Open has been played over in Melbourne. While it is easy to overlook a lot of the storylines from the tournament due to the time difference, the one story that has been hard to miss is the success Coco Gauff has had. 

The 15-year-old sensation had already put her name on the map after her first Grand Slam tournament appearance at Wimbledon in 2019. There, she had a huge underdog win against tennis star Venus Williams. Since then, her momentum has only been growing. 

At the Australian Open this year, she added another significant win to her resume when she beat 22-year old Naomi Osaka, who herself has already won two Grand Slam tournaments and was the number three seed at the Open. She beat Osaka in the third round of the Open in two sets. 

Gauff did end up losing in the fourth round to Sofia Kenin, the 21-year-old who went on to win the Open this year, but it doesn’t change that fact that this was another impressive run in a Grand Slam tournament for her. If she continues at this pace, it won’t be surprising to see her win a Grand Slam tournament sooner rather than later. 

The future of women playing sports is not the only thing that is looking positive, though. The number of women coaching in professional sports has also been growing, even in the little amount of time since the last Women in Sports article came out. 

One team that just made a historic hiring of a female coach is the San Francisco Giants in the MLB. The Giants have added Alyssa Nakken, former softball player, to their full-time coaching staff. 

Nakken’s position as assistant coach makes her not only the first woman to coach in Giants’ franchise history, but also the first full-time female coach in the MLB. 

Even though this is the Giants’ first female coach, San Francisco is no stranger to teams having women coaches. 

In fact, going into Super Bowl 54 this year, the San Francisco 49ers made history with their female offensive assistant coach, Katie Sowers. The four-year veteran coach is going to be the first female coach ever to be coaching at the Super Bowl. 

This success of women coaching in the NFL is only further encouraging teams to hire female coaches, and as recently as Friday, the Cleveland Browns added Callie Brownson to their coaching staff as the chief of staff. 

Women athletes here at Rowan University are also proving themselves, with both the basketball team and swimming and diving team having great records.

The basketball team has a 17-3 record with their last win coming against Ramapo College on Saturday. The team is looking to finish out the season strong to secure the number one seed in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tournament. 

The swimming and diving team is looking just as strong too, with a record of 7-3 and their win against The College of New Jersey on Jan. 25 giving them their fourth straight NJAC Championship

These women and more are going to be celebrated all this week here at Rowan University, so make sure to get out and try to attend one of the National Girls and Women in Sports events here. 

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