2019 NGWSD is here!

Today is the 33rd Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day!  Whether one is the best of the best or just starting out, sport and physical activity can empower girls and women to push past perceived limits in sports and in life.

In the ten years of hosting this contest, we have read more than a thousand essays from young women who, through their writing, have shared their triumphs and struggles. Their ability to persevere, invest in their communities, pick up their teammates and find personal success through sport has demonstrated the best and the worst that sport has to offer.  Through their dedication, this generation of young athletes will become tomorrows leaders and we couldn’t be more excited about the future!

Please visit our Winning Essays tab to read the work of our winners.


2019 NGWSD Essay Contest Winners

Grades K-2

Winner – Kaelyn Love, 1st grade, Council Rock Primary School

Honorable Mention – Jenna Tillinghast, 2nd grade, St. Kateri School

Honorable Mention – Loralei Love, 1st grade, Council Rock Primary School



Grades 3-5

Winner – Lily Barczys, 4th grade, Taylor Elementary School

Honorable Mention – Josie Lamanna, 3rd grade, Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elementary School

Honorable Mention – Abigail Marcello, 4th grade, Taylor Elementary School


Grades 6-8

Winner – Elizabeth Komara, 8th grade, Geneva Middle School

Honorable Mention – Frances Pogroszewski, 6th grade, Aquinas Institute

Honorable Mention – Alexandria McKeel, 6th grade, Livonia Middle School


Grades 9-12

Winner – Ellen Henry, 10th grade, Pittsford Mendon High School

Honorable Mention – Kelechi Rachel Dimgba, 12th grade, Greece Athena High School

Honorable Mention – Alanna Jordan, 10th Grade, Our Lady of Mercy


Group Entry

Winners – Alexis Maysick, Lilian Godfrey, and Chloe Fuller, 3rd grade, Churchville Elementary School


Due to the winter weather conditions this week in the Western and Central New York regions, the deadline for the essay contest has been extended.  Items will be accepted electronically through Saturday, February 2 at midnight.  Items that are postmarked no later than Friday, February 1 should be able to make it to campus in time for the evaluation of essays.  Email ngwsd@sjfc.edu with questions or entries.  Don’t forget to check here next Wednesday, February 6 for the announcement of the winners!

We are so excited to announce our 10th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day Essay Contest! For the past 10 years, we have been privileged to view and read inspiring messages from young girls all throughout the region. In 2019, the national day of celebration will be held on Wednesday, February 6 and we eagerly await the newest entrants into our essay contest. See the page on this site for details about the contest, or email us directly at ngwsd@sjfc.edu.

Let’s Celebrate!

Today is the 32nd Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day! All around the country, people from all walks of life are taking time to celebrate the accomplishments of women and girls in sport. With the Winter Olympics and Paralympics on the horizon, the whole world is yet again on the verge of seeing what women can do.

We have come a long way from the Girls Division of the Public School Athletic League where folk dancing was the preferred sport for young ladies of the day. Thanks to our pioneering women, Title IX, and women continuing to blaze new trails, we have shifted from “is there a sport for me” to “what sport do I want”. Despite this success, there is still a long way to go. All of us need to continue to band together to create safe sport spaces where both the physical and mental well-being of our athletes is at the forefront.

Here at St. John Fisher College, we are in our 9th year of our essay contest. Each year we are amazed at how the young women in our region use their voices to speak about the power of sport. Below is the list of winners and honorable mentions in each of the grade categories for this year. Please visit the Past Essay Contest Winners page to read the winning essays.

Thanks to all our entrants for submitting and look for next year’s essay ideas to be released in November 2018!

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
Winner – Daisy Jones, 2nd Grade, Brooks Hill Elementary
Honorable Mention – Taylor Thomas, 2nd Grade, Allendale Columbia
Honorable Mention – Izzy Pulire, 2nd Grade, Allendale Columbia

3rd – 5th Grade
Winner – Victoria LaRocca, 5th Grade, Holy Cross
Honorable Mention – Emily Miller, 3rd Grade, St. Mary’s School
Honorable Mention – Sophia Sherron, 5th grade, St. Pius X School

6th – 8th Grade
Winner – Ruby Heagney, 8th Grade, Canadaigua Middle School
Honorable Mention – Ani Sherman, 6th Grade, Martha Brown Middle School

9th – 12th Grade
Winner – Lily Rose Conlan, 10th Grade, Our Lady of Mercy
Honorable Mention – Fidele Nibizi, 11th Grade, Early College International High School
Honorable Mention – Rory Herrema, 10th Grade, Our Lady of Mercy

Special Recognition

4th Grade class at World of Inquiry School #58: Ms. Jessica Flanders, teacher
This collection of essays embodied the inclusive nature of sport and support sportsmanship ideals that should be a goal for all sport participation.

The 31st Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day is finally here! We hope that you take some time today to think about, recognize, or reflect on the great things that female athletes have done and are doing in the world.

This year’s national theme was “Expanding Opportunity” and our essay entrants demonstrated how they are working to create engagement with others through sport. With an earlier deadline this year, we saw fewer entries overall, but had some great expansion into the region. Let’s keep spreading the word!

Below is the list of winners and honorable mentions in each of the grade categories for this year. Please visit the Past Essay Contest Winners page to read the winning essays.

Thanks to all our entrants for submitting and look for next year’s essay ideas to be released in November 2017!

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
1st place – Emerson Intriligator, Kindergarten, Francis Parker School #23
Honorable Mention – Daisy Scarlett Jones, 1st grade, Brooks Hill Elementary

3rd – 5th Grade
No entries

6th – 8th Grade
1st place – Michaela Duggan, 6th grade, Piermont, NY
Honorable Mention – Riley Simpson, 7th grade, TC Armstrong Middle School

9th – 12th Grade
1st Place – Hayley Moniz, 11th grade, Westfield High School (MA)
Honorable Mention – Rachel Muller, 12th grade, Brockport High School

1. Girls and women who play sports have a more positive body image than those who do not (Hausenblas, 1998).

2. As little as 4 hours of exercise per week may reduce a teenage girl’s risk of breast cancer by up to 60% (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 1994)

3. 82% of executive businesswomen played organized sports after grade school (“Girls Gain”, 2003)

4. High school girls who engage in interscholastic sports have higher odds of completing college than their non-athlete counterparts (Troutman & Dufur, 2007)

5. Sport participation reduces the risk of degenerative osteoporosis (Warrington, 2008)

6. Strength training enhances the ability to carry out daily activities for women of all ages (American College of Sports Medicine, 2000)

7. High school girls who play sports are more likely to wait longer to lose their virginity and are more likely to use contraception (Miller, et al., 1999)

8. Female athletes in college tend to graduate at a higher rate (71%) than their non-athlete female counterparts (64%) (The NCAA News, 2006)

9. Conscientiousness and openness to experience have been positively related to different exercise behaviors (Courneya, et al. 2002)

10. Adolescent females show a reduced suicide risk if they perceive physical activity as an important determinant of health, and as a beneficial coping mechanism during times of stress (Tomori & Zalar, 2000)

11. Females who participate in sport programs report positive changes of competence and self-esteem that carry over to other parts of their lives (Gill, 1986)

12. Female athletes are less likely to get into trouble at school than their non-athlete counterparts (Levin, et al., 1995)

Add to our list! Why do you support female athletes?