Grades K-2

Naomi Godfrey, 1st Grade, Churchville Elementary School

Basketball is Awesome

I like basketball. It is fun. Someday I want to be a basketball player. It is my dream. Basketball is my favorite sport to play. I love to bounce my basketball and shoot it at the hoop. I do a lot of running in basketball. When I run, I have to keep bouncing the ball or it will get away from me. Sometimes I lose the ball, but I will get better with practice. Someday I will be awesome!

godfrey essay picture 2020

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Grades 3-5 Winner

Zainab Firdaus, 5th grade, Vintage Hills Elementary

Girls Playing Sports

There are many girls who aspire to be athletes and work towards it every day. In this generation, girls can play whatever sport they want. About 50 years ago, it was more restricted for females to play sports but that all changed. If we were to go fifty years into the future I think that women would be respected to play sports even more. Girls and women need to keep playing, to show the world that we can rise.

I think more girls and women will be playing sports than online gaming or jobs. If things
are like that then the sports industry will strive to bring in people to find sports as a hobby. Some girls and women might play professionally while others just play for fun. Whatever reason a person plays sports, it is a great way to invest time in yourself. No one should be able to judge you because of gender or decide if you play sports or not.

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Grades 6-8 Winner

Ever Mahoney, 6th Grade, Allendale Columbia

Then, Now, & Beyond

Women have had to work twice as hard as men to get recognized for their athletic achievements. I think one of the reasons is because history has a way of making women seem less important compared to men, which is completely not true. That was the unfair role society gave women at the time. Luckily a lot has changed since the time women had to work hard to play sports; laws have changed and discrimnation is not as common. Ever since Title IX was passed in 1972 the US has seen a decrease in sports discrimantion regarding women. Now there are women’s basketball teams, soccer teams and football teams. Since Title IX has been applied women have had an easier time pursuing their goals. Although we’ve seen growth already, we’re still a ways away from full sports equality. In the coming years I hope to see more women playing in men dominated sports, so young girls can be inspired to play too. I also think women’s sports should have more publicity. It is important to get the word out about these amazing women pursuing their dream. It is vital to spread the word about different types of sports so young people can be motivated. It would be nice if women’s sports could have more media coverage. I hope to see in the next few years bigger steps towards a world where there is more equality. Adults are always telling their kids- you will run the world one day, you will be the generation that is in charge. Adults need to allow young kids to follow their dreams. After all, we will be running the world one day.

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Grades 9-12 Winner

Delaney Baker, 11th grade, Fairport High School

Play Like A Girl! Should I be Strong or Sexy?

Number 13: Alex Morgan, number 34: Simone Biles, number 41: Serena Williams. A list of the most hardworking, strongest female athletes? Nope. My jaw gaped open in shock as I read the ranking of “The 60 Hottest Female Athletes of 2021.” How does the placement of athletic power relate to the approved tone of the physique? We have come a long way in celebrating women in sports, yet this article from The Athletic Build, sexualizing female athletes, puts us back another 50 years. I looked for reassurance in the comment section that humanity did not drop to this low of a point. I found myself astounded at the number of angry men who questioned why each individual should or should not have made this deprecating list. Instead, they offered criteria on what figure a woman needs to be on the list.

The Athletic Build has no list of “Hottest Male Athletes.” I failed to find articles that ranked male athletes but found several more that ranked females. In certain sports, females get required to dress and present a certain way. It becomes more challenging to avoid receiving shame when women get forced to wear clothes they are not comfortable wearing. Media coverage of female athletes focuses on looks and appeal instead of what they have overcome to get to where they are. Instead of their life stories, what makes them who they are, how hard they worked to get there. Rather than continuing to stereotype female athletes, the qualities that they get celebrated for should be the same as the highlights of their male counterparts.

How am I supposed to encourage my little cousins to look up to female athletes when coverage on them always connects back to how their body is perceived? We should be focusing on empowering all female athletes on what they are capable of doing. Women who are not athletes are discouraged from becoming athletes due to fear of judgment. The priority should be women doing what they want to do; what makes them feel best in their bodies. By being forcibly encouraged to look a certain way from a young age, women begin unhealthy habits of judging themselves. The judgment comes when we tell women that they can not be an athlete without fitting into size two jeans and having a model face and figure. By changing this standard, I believe that every female athlete and non-athlete would be positively affected. Positively affected so everyone can feel like they fit in and so no one has to worry about their younger female family members and friends having to grow up in that same pressure.