PROVO, Utah – Brigham Young University soccer player Cassidy Smith has always looked up to BYU athletes.
“All the games, all the autographs, I have the posters like still in my room,” Smith said.
Now, as one of the athletes, she feels honored to help so many people celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
“I remember going through and getting these signatures and how important it was to me, so it’s cool to flip-flop situations,” Smith said.
Smith became the role model she is now by having an example to look up to herself.
“Mack Olsen. She was the goal-keeper when I was growing up. She’s been my goalkeeper trainer, and I still have her poster up just to remind me of why I started,” Smith said.
Smith and dozens of other BYU female athletes are now the ones on posters, signing autographs and inspiring Cougar Nation.
After fans met all the female athletes, they got free admission to the BYU women’s basketball game. The game was a pink out, and the athletes celebrated the progress in women’s athletics by wearing pink uniforms.
Since Title IX was created in 1972, the number of female college athletes has skyrocketed more than 600 percent.
“We need to celebrate that progress, and not always have a negative outlook on the things that women have yet to accomplish, but look how far we’ve come and take that momentum into even pushing us further along,” said Sports Marketing Assistant Shaylie Fawcett.
For Smith, honoring that progress means paving the way for the next generation of powerful women.
“I think it’s important to reach out to everyone and show them, like give them a dream, give them a role model,” Smith said.
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