Kristian GrahamMrs. Corbett4th period8 April 2012 Speech: Women in Sports Day Event By the time that I turned four years old, my dad had already exposed me to sports. Sportstaught me many life skills. My competitive spirit and determination to never give up empowersme as a female athlete. However, I did not realize the hardships and adversity that womenovercame to afford me opportunities in athletics until my freshman year when I attended aNational Girls and Women in Sports Day event and learned about Title IX. This event wassomething I went to every year in high school in order to skip school, socialize, and get freefood. Not once did I ever really take in all of the hard work that was present around me: thewomen athlete timeline, the nicely made brochures, all of the welcoming posters, or the all-around organization of the event. All of that changed once senior year came around because Idecided to become an event planner and take on the challenge to organize this important eventthat every high school girl looks forward to attending. Before actually organizing the event, I took a step further and researched the history ofTitle IX and learned that it was a law passed in 1975, proposed by Edith Green, that gave womenequal opportunities in education and athletics. I had no idea that fighting for women’s equalrights was such a battle in something such as athletics. Knowing that after all the long brawls inhistory where women took a great stand makes me appreciate being a female athlete. Once January 1st came around, it was time to buckle down and get to work in order tomake the event successful. I am sadly a huge procrastinator in every aspect of my life, so I was
very appreciative while working with my project facilitator, Tracie Cicchinelli, because she didnot mess around. Usually adults within the Cherokee County School System organized this eventand thankfully Mrs. Cicchinelli had all the experience under her belt to keep me in line and ontask; the word ‘procrastinate’ was most certainly not in her vocabulary. Mrs. Cicchinelli is thesecretary for Mr. Sebring, the principal at Woodstock High School, where she takes on anyobstacles that come her way. Many times while I was working with her, she and Mr. Sebringwould joke about how she keeps him in line with what to do and enlightens him with whatexactly is going on. Witnessing Mrs. Cicchinelli’s work ethic pushed me and allowed me to notprocrastinate; I had made my mind up that the 7th Annual NGWSD event would be the finest oneyet at Woodstock High School. With my project facilitator’s guidance every step of the way, I organized the event withpure satisfaction. The first thing Mrs. Cicchinelli and I discussed was how much time and work Iwas going to have to put into the event, along with buying the necessary goods for decorationsand getting sponsors around the county to support us with prizes for the female athletes whowould attend the event. Once I left our first meeting, I was loaded down with purple paper andwas told to make a female athlete timeline, along with going ahead and trying to find people orbusinesses to sponsor the event. I was so excited about my dreams for the event being successfulthat I drove around to find sponsors for a few hours, then went home that night and made thewhole timeline with no problems. During the process of finding sponsors, I knew someone whoowns a graphic shop, and he graciously donated about fifteen t-shirts to give away to the guests.The next meeting, I went to Woodstock High School and proudly presented the finished timelineto Mrs. Cicchinelli, then made the final touches by laminating each piece of the timeline. Oncethat was completed, I made invitations that invited the female students to the event, along with
working on the brochure. The brochure presented biographies of the female speakers thatrepresented each Cherokee County High School, a biography of the keynote speaker, thebiography and recognition of the coach of honor, and the list of sponsors. The brochure was onething that was continuously edited during all of my steps of completing my final product. Duringthe whole process, many things had to be laminated; therefore the laminating machine becamemy best friend by the end of it all. After I laminated the invitations, I cut them all out, which tooka very long time because there were so many. Then, when I thought I was done with the timeline,Mrs. Cicchinelli told me it would look better if each event on the timeline had a picture with it.The picture finding process was absolutely horrible because some of the events were not as well-known as others; therefore, it was very difficult to find pictures for all of the events. One of themost important parts consisted of actually completing over 500 brochures, so I spent much timeand effort folding them, hole-punching them to add decorative ribbon, and tying the small strandof ribbon to each brochure. Then, I had to make sure that I printed out every student’s name whowas attending the event in order to allow them to have a chance to be drawn out of a box to win aprize. Along with the invitations, timeline, and brochures, I also had to make welcoming bannersto welcome our guests and speakers and put together a slideshow to entertain the guests at theevent. The slideshow consisted of pictures of the female athletes from each school and sillyvideos that they made. Then January 30th came around to nervously but excitedly make all of thefinal touches for the event to take place the next day on Tuesday, January 31st. However, thework did not stop there; I had to be at Woodstock High School at 7:30 in the morning to makesure everything was in order, greet the guests and speakers and explain to them how the eventwas going to present itself, and then impatiently wait for the event to begin at 9 AM, where Igreeted over 500 people in Woodstock’s auditorium.
As much as I would like to say that the process of creating the Women in Sports Dayevent was smooth and easy, there were many problems that I struggled with along the way thatslowed me down and got me very frustrated. The first thing that comes to mind is the ribbon;Mrs. Cicchinelli told me that the ribbon needed to be skinny with black and white polka dots,and let’s just say I had a hard time getting what was needed. First, I went to Michael’s thinkingthat the ribbon there would have more variety and would be cheaper; however, it was quite theopposite. I spent $50 and did not even get the right thing. Later, I had to go to Wal-Mart and buyall of the black and white polka dot ribbon that Wal-Mart had. Then from 12 AM to 3 AM, Istayed up tying ribbon onto the brochures and did not get even a fourth of them completed.Throughout the whole ribbon process, it took three rounds to three different Wal-Marts, alongwith much of my time and money, in order to complete my task. Another frustrating factor wasgetting all of the high schools to cooperate and to be punctual with their tasks that they wereasked to complete, such as getting each speaker’s biography, sending all of the students’ nameswho were attending the event, and sometimes the teachers just would not email back. Along withthat, finding a key note speaker was very tough because no one was available. We successfullybooked a speaker after about four or five tries. The last obstacle that sticks out to me is findingsponsors. It was very hard to get sponsors because some businesses would say they needed aletter to send to Corporate, and then they would never get back to us because the process tooktoo long. Through all of the obstacles and struggles I faced to organize this event, I would say thatI learned a lot about myself. I definitely grew to have much more patience than I used to have,along with being more punctual, and I learned to not procrastinate. I also learned to alwaysacknowledge all of the hard work that is presented around me and to appreciate it. All of the
behind the scenes work to create the event is what causes you to actually enjoy the event;therefore, do not take those efforts for granted. I learned that when working with other people,always be assertive and do not let them take advantage of you. In the end, I was very happy withthe work that I had done. Even though it took a lot of time and hard work, I would definitely doit again because it was a great opportunity to promote my people skills and further myknowledge about Title IX, and the true meaning of being a female athlete. Even though I enjoyed organizing the event, I do not think I would want to pursue it as acareer because I get stressed easily, and I would not want to put all of that pressure on myself allof the time. I plan on attending Reinhardt University or Truett McConnell on a basketballscholarship, and I want to pursue a career in nursing to become a neonatal nurse. I am a verycaring person, and I absolutely adore children; therefore, I think that working with newbornbabies would be something that I could be very good at. Thank you all very much for taking thistime to listen to my presentation, and do any of you have any questions?