Aug 29, 2018
Special Symposium

Last month, Centennial (Minn.) High School held its first Female Athlete Symposium. The event was intended to celebrate and educate its female athletes.

According to the Quad Community Press, the five-hour event took place in the school’s performing arts center. Female student-athletes going into grades 8 through 12 were invited to attend, and about 200 girls took advantage of the opportunity. The event featured a keynote speaker and other presentations dealing with topics related to the athletes’ growth. 

Cori Sendle, Centennial’s Community Education Director, told the attendees to be “proud of what they do and their accomplishments,” and said she wanted them to know that it’s “not about winning, [it’s about] becoming a better person.”

Michelle Kline, a graduate of Centennial and former Olympic speed skater, served as the keynote speaker. She spoke about her time as an Olympic athlete and the importance of setting goals.

“Both life and sport is going to be filled with ups and downs, but remember your big dreams,” Kline said. “Paint your picture and be comfortable in your own skin. Big dreams can come true for young girls in small communities.”

Cheryl Wood, Centennial’s Athletic Trainer, spoke to athletes about self-care.

“Their health is my priority, and I’m always willing to share my expertise in injury prevention and management,” Wood said. “While practice and training are important to the success of an athlete, teaching girls to care for their minds and bodies allows them to recharge so they can maximize their efforts, both in school and athletics. Self-care is a lifelong skill. You can’t fill someone else’s cup if your cup is empty.”

Some of the events dealt with leadership and teamwork. Lauren Thrift, who is part of Mediation Services for the county, held activities on working with others.

“It’s important to be able to work well with people even if you don’t get along so you can achieve the common goal,” Thrift said. “We want the athletes to reflect on the importance of good teamwork and think about how to build a strong team and resolve conflict as it arises.”

Reviews were positive across the board from attendees. As the day drew to a close, one athlete who attended the event said:

“I have never felt so motivated in my entire life. I feel like I can do anything.”




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