Volume 3 | January 2018
Active Lives. Empowered Futures.
Welcome to BAWSI E-News!
8 BAWSI Girls sites, 8 BAWSI Rollers sites this past fall - that's 593 lives changed through purposeful play. There’s been a lot of goodness on our BAWSI playgrounds and elsewhere this past fall, so take a look, share it with your friends and join us in the spring semester as we continue to engage, inspire and empower the children who need us most. 
Hitting the (Play)Ground Running: Another Successful Fall Season
This fall season we reached 451 BAWSI Girls and 142 BAWSI Rollers, from East San Jose to Belmont. Our results speak for themselves: 86% of our BAWSI Girls said they want to be a leader, 71% of BAWSI Girls reported that they set goals for themselves, and 60% of our Girls said they now want to exercise more. Our BAWSI Rollers sites proved to be just as successful: we saw many breakthroughs and behavioral improvements, and watched participants push outside of their comfort zones. A parent of one of our Blackford Elementary Rollers (a site for physical and cognitive disabilities) commented, “Whatever you are doing, my son loves it! He gets very excited for Fridays and putting on his purple shirt. It all leads to good stuff. He follows the calendar, anticipates the activities, loves the coaches, and has fun with his friends.”

Our BAWSI Girls and Rollers were not the only ones deeply touched by our work. At our end-of-season Stand And Deliver event, our coaches spoke from the heart when asked about their experiences at BAWSI. Just a few short months on our playgrounds, and in our office, were enough to leave powerful, life-changing impressions on our coaches and inspire them to apply those lessons. You can learn more about our amazing team of coaches here.

Empowered by a season of full hearts, we are excited to hit the (play)ground running this spring to accomplish even more!
Wilcox Post-Secondary Junior Coaches Strengthen BAWSI's Impact
Thanks to our beloved volunteer Michelle Ray, BAWSI Rollers was able to come full circle in carrying out our mission to serve children with disabilities. Formerly a special education teacher at Montague Elementary, Michelle saw firsthand the positive changes in her students. So when she made the transition to teaching at the Post-Secondary level at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, she knew she had to find a way to incorporate BAWSI into her curriculum.

Volunteering as junior coaches, the Wilcox students became a big hit with the Rollers! Each Wednesday in locker room, the Rollers would ask excitedly if their favorite junior coaches were going to be there to play.

Michelle commented that for her students, being junior coaches with BAWSI “was the highlight of their week” and added that they would come to class “eager to head out into the community to volunteer their time and share their spirit.” Her class has added so much more to what our programs offer. Thank you to Michelle and her Wilcox students – we hope to see you on the playground for many more seasons to come.
Guests Are Big "FANs" of Breakfast Event
FAN Panel
The BAWSI Female Athlete Network (FAN) breakfast, "Fueling for Performance: the Myths, Pitfalls, & Warning Signs for Female Athletes", was a sold-out event sponsored by Stanford Children’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center and the Young Athletes Academy. Coaches, parents, and administrators came together to learn about the best and worst practices for adolescent female athletes and their weight.

Anna Thomas, former National Team member and soccer coach, kicked us off with a personal story of her struggle as a collegiate athlete. Our team of expert panelists – Dr. Jennifer Carlson, M.D., Jennifer Medina, and Wendy Sterling, M.S., R.D., CSSD – also presented factors that affect female athletes’ physical health and performance, specifically eating disorders, energy, and nutrition.

We sincerely thank all of our guests, our sponsor, and our speakers.It is validating to hear that many of our attendees brought the information back to their respective schools and clubs to educate players and parents. We are certain that together we can do more to support young female athletes in our community and communicate to them messages of positivity and health!

Read the full summary of our event here.
  Where Are They Now? A Feature on Former BAWSI Staffers
We are pleased to feature Hillary Kigar, a former BAWSI Athlete Leader from spring 2014. Hillary worked at BAWSI as a 5 th year cross-country athlete at USF while simultaneously earning her M.A. in Sports Management.

After leaving BAWSI, Hillary began coaching cross country and track at a private high school in San Francisco and then Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland. Her strong work ethic in a variety of different roles within Bishop O’Dowd athletics didn't go unnoticed, and the school created a position for her as Assistant Athletic Director. Hillary still serves as head coach for cross country and distance events in track & field. Besides developing healthy and capable athletes in her coaching role, she focuses on more equity and inclusion at the school – particularly for women.

Hillary shared that the values applied to her current work are those she learned during her time at BAWSI. “Female presence in an athletic department is definitely important,” Hillary said, adding, “I appreciate the conversations we had at BAWSI that allowed people to talk about real things, like feelings, that now allow me to initiate more value-based conversations with people in the workplace today without it feeling uncomfortable.” BAWSI has helped her and her colleagues to ask “are we doing the right thing?” rather than simply “what can we do in order to win?” – and that, in itself, is a win.

We are proud to claim Hillary as a BAWSI alumna, and thrilled to see the ripple effect of BAWSI now extended to the lucky student-athletes at Bishop O’Dowd.
West Coast Conference SAAC Leaders Volunteer with BAWSI Rollers
In their second year partnering with BAWSI Rollers, the West Coast Conference’s (WCC) Student Athlete Advisory Council came together on November 3 rd in order to give back to the community through personal, tangible service. The WCC's member schools are BYU, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s, USD, USF, and Santa Clara. Athletes from each school visited our BAWSI Rollers site for a day of purposeful play.

Amidst the beaming smiles and competitive atmosphere, it was hard to determine which group was getting the most out of the day. The morning provided a beautiful reminder of the reciprocal nature of service that feeds our volunteers and keeps them coming back, and the profound impact they have when they reach out to touch lives.
Meyerson House Party Mobilizes More Behind Mission
Esteemed BAWSI Board member Deb Meyerson and her husband Steve Zuckerman generously opened their home to BAWSI in October. Their party gave us the opportunity to share our mission with new faces, and share details of the BAWSI Rollers program. Sharon Kelleher, creator of BAWSI Rollers, shared the history of the program. Michelle Ray, Special Education Lead in Santa Clara County, shared observations and impact of the program she witnessed for over 7 years as Lead Special Ed Teacher at Montague Elementary.

Deb is currently writing a book documenting her experiences as a stroke survivor and the subsequent struggle to recover her sense of self, tentatively titled Identity Theft: Rediscovering Ourselves after Stroke. We can’t wait to read it and are proud to have such an inspirational woman on our Board!
Volunteer Shout Out
We would like to recognize the incredible efforts of our high school and collegiate athlete volunteers, who were a consistent presence at our BAWSI Girls sites this past season. Presentation High School and Sequoia High School in particular logged a whopping 87 and 61 hours respectively – what an incredible gift from our hardworking high school girls!

We had great support from several local college women’s teams as well, including Santa Clara University (Tennis, Basketball, Water Polo), Gavilan College (Basketball), West Valley College (Soccer), Stanford (Lacrosse), San Jose State University (Basketball), and Notre Dame de Nemur (Softball). We also had individual volunteers from Archbishop Mitty High School, Priory School, and The Girls Middle School, as well as volunteers from local companies Newsela and Almaden.

We cannot emphasize enough how much our BAWSI Girls look up to our incredible volunteers. Our volunteers are tremendous role models who dare to care.

Don’t see your school or company recognized here? Contact Courtney Good ( courtney@bawsi.org) to get on the BAWSI volunteer schedule. It takes a village!
Upcoming Game Days Will Bring BAWSI Girls to College Campuses
This February our BAWSI Girls will have a special opportunity to take a field trip to local college campuses. Stanford Women’s Basketball will host four of our BAWSI Girls schools on February 11, and Santa Clara Women’s Basketball will host another four BAWSI Girls schools on February 17. This fun-filled field trip is completely free for the girls and includes transportation, lunch, game entry, and a pre-game clinic with Stanford Women’s Basketball and Santa Clara Women’s Ultimate Frisbee. For many of our girls, this is their first visit to a college campus, planting the seeds for big dreams.

Interested in volunteering at one of our game days? Contact Courtney Good ( courtney@bawsi.org ).
  New Balance for Families at Fair Oaks Elementary
Stanford Women’s Lacrosse Assistant Coach Kristen Carr generously donated 24 pairs of shoes to the Fair Oaks Family Center. Kristen & her team had volunteered at BAWSI Girls and fell in love with the mission. When she found out she had shoes to donate as a New Balance sponsored athlete, Kristen immediately thought of BAWSI and we set her up with nearby BAWSI Girls site in Redwood City. Thank you Kristen and New Balance Sole4Souls -- our Fair Oaks friends look great in their new shoes!
  BAWSI Honored with 2017 Statewide ACSA Partners in Educational Excellence Award
In a reception at the Fairmont San Jose in November, BAWSI received the prestigious Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) statewide award as their Partner in Educational Excellence for our impactful work on the BAWSI playgrounds. ACSA comprises over 17,000 education administrators in the state of California, and honored us “for exemplary school-community partnership programs that promote effective educational performance, enhanced student achievement, and strong community involvement in educational quality.”

We share this award with every employee, Board member, volunteer, Advisory Council member, and donor who made it possible for us to connect with the children we serve through active play.
Please mark your calendars for our very special
Evening at the Olympics on Friday, May 4, 2018
at Villa Ragusa in downtown Campbell.
  To make an online donation, please complete the secure form.
BAWSI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization (federal tax ID #55-0897084)
  Active Lives. Empowered Futures.
Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative | 1922 The Alameda, Suite 420 | San Jose, CA 95126 | 408.247.2544 |
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