Shedding light on women in sports

What does national women and girls in sports day mean to you?

“I think it is really important to show how far women have come especially thinking about the progress women’s sports in college and high school have made considering they haven’t been around for that long. Seeing male supporters for female sports is huge too, people like Kobe and Lebron have really shown their support, and having their backs shows how far it has come in such a short amount of time. It gives me hope that it will keep growing into something even more awesome,” Joey Batt said.

“It means a lot to be in this generation right now where we can pay attention and look around at all the opportunities these players have. As a mother of two young girls, it is important we keep pushing forward and we keep growing opportunities for young girls, and continue to see the value in women’s athletics,” Emilee Thiesse said.

“It’s an opportunity to shine a light on women in sports and the accomplishments they have made that may be overlooked by men in the same sport,” Jamie Nelson said.

“To me I think it means empowerment in females, because years ago we wouldn’t have opportunities like this. Now, female sports are constantly growing and growing each day. So it means a lot to see females being empowered in sports,” Toryn Richards said.

What advice do you have for younger girls?

“Keep working. You’re going to face adversity and a lot of comments from people about how women’s sports aren’t as fun but just go out and make the most out of it. Keep working hard and don’t get frustrated. Keep your head up,” Joey Batt said.

“The same kind of message I tell our team every day. All you can do every day is live for today and just seek those opportunities that you have in front of you. Find partnership in the people around you, that’s what makes sports so awesome. The teamwork makes it special. It’s the setting goals and being able to accomplish them with the people around you. There’s no better thing than having sisters with you, on and off the court,” Emilee Thiesse said.

“Don’t compare yourself to other people because it can be discouraging when you see people in the same sport and same age group doing better than you. Set goals for yourself and do everything you can to achieve them,” Jamie Nelson said.

“Just keep fighting, fight for yourself, fight for others, and just to keep fighting for women’s rights in sports,” Toryn Richards said.

How has Minnesota State supported you in your journey?

“In many many ways. I think it’s just given me a lot of opportunities. I’ve always wanted to play college basketball and it’s been a dream of mine. I never thought it was going to be possible to play at this level and showcase what I’ve worked so hard at,” Joey Batt said.

“Minnesota State really has. We are fortunate at MSU that they understand the value of women’s sports. Our athletic director Kevin Weissman is a huge proponent of women’s athletics and he does an outstanding job of pushing us and vouching for us and that means so much to us. We know we are valued here and you can see it with the history of women’s athletics here. We’ve got three national championships in women’s sports at MSU. That is just the beginning,” Emilee Thiesse said.

“At Mankato especially, we are fortunate to be able to share the same top of the line facilities with our counterparts. Title IX is definitely in effect here every single time we go to the rink,” Jamie Nelson said.

“They make everything very equal for us, I would say they focus both on the males and the female teams. Making sure that they get the equal share of opportunity, exposure, and attention required,” Toryn Richards said.

Header Photo: Top left, Emilee Thiesse. Top right, Jamie Nelson. Bottom left, Joey Batt. Bottom right, Toryn Richards.

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