RB celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Week


William Kraft

Riverside Brookfield High School is highlighting female athletes in celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Week.

Ava Kopecky, Managing Editor

The first week of February is recognized in the United States as National Girls and Women in Sports Week. This holiday serves as a time to reflect and acknowledge the accomplishments made by women in the sports industry. At Riverside Brookfield High School, a large amount of the female student body actively participates in sports, and club “Girl Up” is looking for ways to celebrate through highlighting female athletes at RB.

RB offers around 14 different sports to girls that attend the school to participate in. This includes sports like basketball, softball, cheerleading, and many more. 

Senior Hannah Organ, is well known in the community for her dedication to her athletic career, inside and outside of RB. She has been on Varsity Girls Basketball since her sophomore year, and throughout all four years of her time at RB she has played Varsity Softball.

“Playing these sports brings a lot of value to me,” Organ said. “I have grown as a person, it has given me a lot of self confidence, and it has shown me different parts of myself like how I can be persevering during hard times.”

Sports don’t only transform the player physically. Intense conditioning, difficult games, and friendships gained from your teammates and coaches also shape the player mentally. 

“I’ve grown a lot, and I look at myself when I first started I was a very shy person, didn’t really talk much, and I was very hard on myself,” Organ said. “I look at myself now and I am confident and not as afraid to talk to people or voice my opinion.”

Organ has been playing softball ever since she was in tee-ball, now, she is committed to Miami University of Ohio to continue playing softball for the next four years. Less than 2% of high school athletes go on to play an NCAA Division I sport in college, and on top of that being a woman, that is a remarkable accomplishment.

Despite the same work ethic, effort, and passion women give to their sport, there is a stigma around girls in the sports world. There’s a significant lack of coverage for female athletics, this is due to their games being scheduled for less desirable times and their rare discussion in the media. Women’s professional sports teams earn much less than their male counterparts, and on top of all this, female athletes have to deal with how they are perceived by the public. The many reasons why people don’t engage in female athletics is because of it’s lower profile, rather the sport itself or how the game is played relative to men’s versions.

“There is 100% a stigma around women in sports, and it’s really frustrating to see because we put in the same amount of time, effort, and energy as men do and it still gets neglected,” Organ said.

Senior Giuliana Speziale has been a flyer for RB’s Varsity Cheerleading team her entire four years at RBHS, Speziale also flies outside of school for an organization known as Super CDA. With her extreme commitment to the team, she has helped pave the way for RB Cheer to remain Metro Suburban Conference champions and qualify twice for IHSA state championships throughout her high school career.

“It’s clear that people only care about the mens sports… Nobody is really coming out to see a cheer competition, we don’t even host them or anything. Nobody is going out to watch Girls Basketball, or Gymnastics… but you just have to remember why you do the sport and why you love it,” Speziale said.

With the stigmas surrounding this issue, it may be hard for younger girls to indulge themselves into being an athlete. 

“It gets really hard sometimes, and I get frustrated when things don’t go the way as planned, but if you push yourself to be on a sport and on a team you will meet a lot of good people and supportive people and they will help you get through it,” Speziale said.

Organ and Speziale alike recognize this issue, but insist there is no reason for young girls to withhold themselves from learning and playing a sport that they may be passionate about.

“Don’t let other peoples’ comments or ideas bring you down because the people who matter are going to respect and support you,” Organ said. “The more women and girls we get into sports, the better things are gonna get in resolving the stigma.”