Former PC Athlete Emily Becker Returns as Women in Sports Luncheon’s Guest of Honor

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[ot-caption title=”(From left to right) Coach Jeff Foster Emily Becker, Coach Eileen Pliske, and Coach Jeff Johnson recognize Becker as Women in Sports Luncheon’s Guest of Honor. (via Andrea Tomassini)”]

[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]February 2nd, 2017 was National Women in Sports Day. Pine Crest celebrated this day by hosting the fifth annual Women in Sports Luncheon in the Egan Auditorium, in which female Pine Crest student athletes were invited to come together to celebrate our achievements and those of the women who made it possible for us to be in sports. For the past five years, Coach Eileen Pliske has organized this event to commemorate landmark legislation such as Title IX and the strength and courage of activists past who made it possible for female athletes to feel just as welcome on the field, in the pool, or on the court as our male counterparts. Coach Pliske credits PC yoga instructor Ms. Bresnahan with giving her the idea to organize something for this day. “It’s important to recognize our girls who play sports in some way,” she said. “This is a day we must appreciate and celebrate.”

[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]The guest speaker this year was recent Bucknell graduate and Pine Crest alum Emily Becker.  During her Pine Crest high school career, Emily played Varsity basketball and lacrosse. She earned All-American Honors sophomore through senior year and, upon graduating, was awarded the prestigious and coveted Mae McMillan Award. She spoke about her unconventional entrance into Varsity lacrosse at the college Division I level, and about the grit and commitment it took to gain recognition and success. Athletes at the luncheon related to Emily’s feeling of frustration at going unnoticed, or not improving enough. Her message to that end however, was clear: If you love the sport(s) you do, push through it. It’s worth the struggle.

Female varsity athletes from all grades met each other for the first time at the luncheon. (via Andrea Tomassini)

[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]“Coming to this luncheon, I feel inspired by all the athletes here. The fact that we’re all sitting here together pushes me to keep working hard. And it’s really special to hear amazing advice from someone who already went through the process,” said sophomore Alexandra Meszaros. She, like the many participants in the luncheon, was happy to take part in a tradition about the struggles and beauty of being a female student athlete. The importance of championing women’s involvement in sports is great, especially in a community like Pine Crest, in which many girls participate in one or more sports. The journey of committing to practice, of making some sacrifices, and of learning to balance schoolwork and sports is invaluable, and an opportunity most high school girls were not afforded before the passage of Title IX. Since then, women have taken advantage of these opportunities, which bodes well for the future. The Women in Sports Luncheon reflected the success of encouraging girls to take part in sports and showed that the future for women involved in athletics is bright. Mrs. Clark, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, remarked that sometimes, the hard work and dedication it took for women to gain these opportunities is often forgotten, but it was no easy task. This Luncheon highlights those difficulties, as well as the hope that they were not in vain.