OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University’s field hockey program has been selected to participate in the You Go Girl! initiative. You Go Girl! is a program that will introduce field hockey to young women and girls, ages 10-18, in non-traditional or at-risk communities with the help of NCAA student-athletes. The You Go Girl initiative was awarded with a grant from the United States Olympic Committee’s Diversity and Inclusion program.
“We are pleased that USA Field Hockey has granted us with the opportunity to make our small contribution to the development of our sport,” said Miami head coach Iñako Puzo.
The USA Field Hockey program believes this will not only help grow the sport in the United States, but could potentially benefit a large portion of the at-risk population.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the college community and the United States Olympic Committee to bring field hockey to urban, at-risk communities across the U.S.,” said Steve Locke, the Executive Director of USA Field Hockey. “With the You Go Girl! program, girls will not only be introduced to field hockey, but they will be given the tools to stay in the sport and potentially play at the college level and beyond.”
A mentorship program that takes place after school at selected local community organizations and schools, You Go Girl! launches in 2013 in the greater Cincinnati area and will combine the efforts of the larger field hockey community, including the Southwestern Ohio Field Hockey League (SWOFHL), the Cincinnati Centurions Hockey Club, and Miami University.
“SWOFHL is excited to support Miami University in the development of youth field hockey in Cincinnati,” said Jen Willis, the president of SWOFHL. “The You Go Girl! program is an outstanding opportunity to bring a great sport to young athletes in the area. Cincinnati high schools have been competitive with Columbus and Louisville programs without the benefit of youth development. This program will promote a wonderful sport and help put Cincinnati field hockey on the map.”
“We are excited to assist USA Field Hockey in growing the You Go Girl! program to benefit young women from non-traditional and at-risk communities,” said Jason Thompson, director of diversity and inclusion for the USOC. “It is unique programs like You Go Girl! that help build character and enhance diversity, while reinforcing the importance of a healthy lifestyle and higher education.”
At the conclusion of You Go Girl!, each participant will be invited to attend a tryout for USA Field Hockey’s Futures Program. In addition to skill instruction, student-athlete mentors will be urged to teach the values of strong character development, benefits of healthy lifestyles and the importance of higher education.
“The mission of You Go Girl! is greater than just growing the sport of field hockey. The mission is to give these young women another avenue to success,” said USA Field Hockey’s Program Manager, Simone Attles.
“My favorite part of You Go Girl! is that it is not about making money, it’s about giving back,” added Puzo. “This is about giving others the same opportunities to enjoy field hockey the same way we have. You Go Girl! is about becoming a more inclusive sport and this is about educating people. This program is about what we love in sports.”