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Making HERstory: National Day of Girls and Women in Sports

By Imani Hedt

Every year on the 7th of February, the United States celebrates the National Day of Girls and Women in Sports. This year marks the 38th annual celebration of all female athletes, regardless of sport, experience or age. 

This national day serves as an inspiration to girls and women in sports and shines an important spotlight on the accomplishments of female athletes, both within and outside of their sports. It illustrates the national recognition of the hard work and effort that it takes to be an athlete, as well as opening up a continuous dialogue surrounding the challenges female athletes face. This day serves as an opportunity for all athletes to take hold of their own narrative and begin writing HERstory. 

Through Unbreakable Female Athlete (UFA), this dialogue is constantly open. The clothing brand provides an empowering message to female athletes under the one unifying word: Unbreakable. No matter the challenges, setbacks, unfair opportunities that many female athletes face, they remain unbreakable in their strength, determination, drive, and love of their sport. Jaecee Hall, CEO and founder of Unbreakable Female Athlete, who is currently rowing at the University of Iowa, speaks on the founding message behind UFA.

“I decided to create a shirt that expressed the importance of what the title "female athlete" meant to me. I brainstormed words that epitomised the true meaning of a female athlete. Ultimately, the word UNBREAKABLE stuck. Conversations around the underrepresentation of women's sports in media, television, social media. Derogatory stereotypes surrounding women in athletics, as well as a lack of respect for women in athletics all fueled my fire to empower other female athletes.”

Along with this Unbreakable message, Jaecee has made supporting female athletes a priority, something that came into fruition through the UFA Fund. 

“In order to provide support to youth female athletes, I created the UFA Fund. Through the UFA Fund, support is provided to organizations that promote sport whilst corroborating an environment that empowers girls and women to achieve their highest goals. The UFA Fund will look to partner with different organizations each year!

This fund is a donations-based initiative that raises funds to further support female athletes and their athletic programs. Support in these local communities and their programs helps to foster a supportive and inclusive space, something that is especially important to young girls participating in sports. A celebration like the National Day of Girls and Women in Sports also helps to move towards these spaces for female athletes. Jaecee emphasises how important support from a young age is to a female athlete.

“This celebration inspires girls and women to play and be active, to realise their full power. The confidence, strength and character gained through sports participation are the very tools girls and women need to become strong leaders in sports and in life.”

Both in the sporting world and outside of it, the statement ‘Making HERstory’ has been circulating. It’s message: Women and girls are making waves -- pushing through challenges, accomplishing incredible feats, and rewriting their collective history through the making of their own. 

In celebration of the National Day of Women and Girls in sports, UFA has put together a collection of photos of female athletes, showcasing their past sports and their current athletic careers. These women work every day to make their younger self proud. To pay homage to their past sporting history, and to continue to be the narrator of their future. 

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