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Clayton Recreation Department to host women’s sports day

The time is coming for every young girl, who has ever wanted to learn how to throw a left hook, or a forward pass, to get the opportunity.

Clayton County’s parks and recreation department has held an annual set of clinics to teach women’s athletics for the last few years. The event is tied to the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

It teaches girls how to play a variety of lesser-known sports for females, including women’s boxing and women’s football.

“It’s exposure [for the participants], because they get to learn about sports they probably didn’t know they could play,” said Jim Huie Recreation Center Program Coordinator Shacole Pearman, the event organizer for Clayton County. “Everybody knows the rules of football, for example, but not everybody knows girls can play football, too.”

The county’s recreation department, in partnership with the non-profit women’s sports development organization, LADYS Inc., is set to hold its Fifth Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day, on Feb.18. The event will run from 2 p.m., to 4 p.m., at the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, located at 3499 Rex Road, in Rex.

The event is free, and is open to girls, ages 8 to 17, from across the metropolitan-Atlanta area, Pearman said.

This year’s clinics will teach participants about women’s football, volleyball, lacrosse, boxing, soccer, cheerleading, and step-dancing, according to a promotional flyer from the department. “It shows the girls, ‘Hey, I can be a professional boxer, or a professional lacrosse player when I grow up,’ ” said Pearman.

The event organizer explained that the clinics will be taught by the athletes and coaches from Agnes Scott College, Clayton State University, the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department, and the Atlanta Xplosion women’s football team. She added that Georgia women’s boxing champion, Nicole Woods, will teach the clinic on boxing.

“They [the girls] will rotate through different clinics, spending 10 to 15 minutes learning about each sport, and getting to try it out, before moving on to the next sport,” Pearman said. “Everyone who participates will get to try out each sport.”

Pearman said participants are being asked to wear comfortable, sports-appropriate clothing for the event, and are encouraged to bring a bottle of water. She added that the first 50 girls to show up on the day of the event will receive a “commemorative gift” from LADYS, Inc., and all participants will receive a ticket to attend a Clayton State Women’s Basketball game.

Call (678) 479-5135, or (770) 472-8042, for additional information.