Hall of Fame Village Honors National Girls and Women in Sports Day

CANTON, Ohio, Feb. 7, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Since its inception in 1987, the United States Congress has annually designated a day during the first week of February to celebrate the accomplishments of female athletes, recognize the positive impact of sports participation for women and girls, and honor the ongoing journey for equality in women’s sports.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) has become a revered annual nationwide observance characterized by community-based events, the spotlighting of notable women athletes, award presentations, and engaging activities that underscore the vital role of women’s contributions to sports and society.

At Hall of Fame Village, we recognize and celebrate the significance of NGWSD, working to create programming and education that showcase women who best represent achievement, empowerment, leadership, and excellence in sport and life. Today, we are honored to welcome Renee Powell—an athlete celebrated for resilience and perseverance, as well as for her roles as a versatile inspirational speaker, international golf ambassador, champion for veterans, and patriot advocating for social change—to the Village, addressing and inspiring the entire Hall of Fame Village Team.

Renee Powell herself articulates, “As a woman deeply immersed in sports throughout my life, National Girls and Women in Sports Day holds profound significance for me. Engaging in sports offers a multitude of positive benefits. Whether challenging oneself in an individual sport, collaborating within a team, or simply enjoying a non-competitive activity, individuals can cultivate self-confidence. Sports serve as a rich source of life lessons and values, guiding us through the diverse stages of our journey. The experience involves self-discovery, fostering harmonious relationships with others, setting and pursuing goals, and recognizing the importance of giving back to enhance the quality of life for all.”

Anne Graffice – Executive Vice President, Global Marketing & Public Affairs
Playing sports as a young girl and throughout my lifetime, I was exposed early on to the power of sports and the impact that it can have on your entire life.  Learning how to be a contributing and supportive team player who focuses on the collective good, being faced with failures and losses and knowing how to push through and focus on the next possible success, and very importantly,  being able to get up, and keep moving forward, no matter how many times you get knocked down are all invaluable lessons that I have learned and that have helped me to be a resilient, positive and hopefully inspired leader in whatever I do in my career. Having young girls of my own now, Lauren and Layne, I am proud of their sports journey and how they have been able to build self-confidence, overcome adversity, and become leaders in their own right.

Carol Smith – Senior Vice President, Special Projects
In my competitive swimming journey, the sport proved to be a profound teacher, offering lessons that extended well beyond the confines of the pool. Key takeaways persistently shaping my career include the paramount value of teamwork, teaching collaboration, and the pursuit of common goals. Resilience became a learned art, emphasizing the importance of bouncing back from setbacks and losses, a mantra of never giving up. Confidence emerged from celebrating victories, fostering self-belief, and acknowledging others’ successes. Leadership, whether as a team captain or in a supporting role, provided opportunities to lead effectively. Additionally, the sport underscored the significance of goal setting, empowering me to establish realistic objectives and take control of my journey. The mantra, “Hold the Vision. Trust the Process,” and Abby Wambach’s wisdom, “A champion never allows a short-term failure to take her out of the long-term game,” encapsulate enduring principles guiding my journey both in and out of the pool.

Lisa Gould – Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Sports play an integral part in developing overall leadership skills and self-discipline, and this becomes evident in individuals whose lives have been interwoven with sports. In my youth, I played softball and participated in field events during track season. However, one of my greatest expressions of ‘sports’ and self-discipline was playing the piano. There was never anyone to compete against except myself. Some of my most enjoyable moments in sports, though, were watching my kids play throughout their youth and high school. Every game and event felt like the Super Bowl as a mom cheering on those closest to her. I can still see the positive impact of sports in my children, even now as they are grown and starting their own families. As we celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day, let’s all cheer on those little girls aspiring to play in the big arenas!

Tara Charnes – General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Being a passionate sports enthusiast, especially in field team sports like soccer, football, field hockey, and lacrosse, I have a deep connection to athletics. My sports journey started with soccer tots, continued through high school, and included a stint in our school drill team. Sports not only built a strong community bond but also played a crucial role in maintaining my physical health and providing a positive competition outlet. Raising two remarkable and athletic daughters, Taylor and Payton, has been one of my greatest joys. Taylor, a junior, excels in various sports, focusing on field hockey, and contributing to her high school’s two-time defending Ohio State Championship Team. Payton, a freshman, chose to concentrate on lacrosse for her high school career. Witnessing the daily display of friendships, confidence, community spirit, work ethic, pride, and commitment from my daughters and their teammates brings me immense joy. Their dedication extends beyond the field, actively contributing to community engagement and mentoring younger girls in both our immediate community and underrepresented areas in Columbus.

Val McGee – Senior Vice President, Revenue
I developed a passion for sports in my youth, which persisted throughout my life as a woman. During my early years in sports, I dedicated 13 years to playing softball, experiencing both triumphs through championships and the valuable lessons that accompany defeat. These experiences instilled in me qualities of determination, teamwork, and persistence, forging lasting friendships with my teammates. As an adult, whether engaged in activities like hiking, CrossFit, or other sports, I’ve come to understand the crucial link between physical exertion and mental clarity. Sports provide a remarkable source of energy and focus. Witnessing my children’s participation in sporting events as they grew became a cornerstone of our family lifestyle. This involved taking them to practices, attending their games, and getting to know their teammates and fellow community members. The inclusion of sports has enriched our lives in numerous ways.

About Hall of Fame Village (HOFV):

Hall of Fame Village, a division of Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company, is a 100-acre immersive sports and entertainment destination centered around the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The Village is dedicated to making every experience one-of-a-kind for fans throughout its six venues—Center for Performance, Constellation Center for Excellence, Fan Engagement Zone, ForeverLawn Sports Complex, Play-Action Plaza, and Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. An indoor football-themed waterpark and Hilton Tapestry Hotel are also under construction. For more information, visit www.HOFVillage.com.

SOURCE Hall of Fame Village

HOFV Logo (PRNewsfoto/Hall of Fame Village)

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