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Girls Empowered During 16th Annual Girls and Sports Day
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25 September 2017  
US Olympian Mountain Biker Chloe Woodruff speaks to girls at the 16th annual Girls and Sports Day at the Prescott YMCA on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 in Prescott, Arizona. All Photos by: Torrence Dunham

US Olympian Mountain Biker Chloe Woodruff Speaks at 16th Annual Girls and Sports Day

PRESCOTT- United States Olympic mountain biker and Prescott resident Chloe Woodruff spoke for hundreds of girls, Saturday, September 23rd, at the Prescott YMCA as she was the main speaker of the 16th annual Girls and Sports Day.

“It’s a neat opportunity and I just hope to share some of my experience,” said Woodruff. “I was a pretty shy, timid, middle schooler and sports, particularly mountain biking, just brought a lot of opportunities and help me build confidence and strength.”

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Girls and Sports Day is a partnership between NorthStar Youth Partnership and the James Family Prescott YMCA and serves as a chance to introduce girls to a variety of sports and teach life lessons.

Woodruff shared her experiences at the Olympic Games in Rio along with ways to build strength and overcome obstacles.

“Girls can’t hear enough that girls are capable of a huge amount of strength,” Woodruff said. “Some of that has to be coached and learned and it’s a process to learn that. It just comes to putting in the time and the work and finding the right thing that kind of inspires you to push yourself and find that strength.”

Woodruff worked hard to become a United States Olympian and place first in many events including the Whiskey Off-Road Marathon in Prescott multiple times.

“It’s always good to hear their (guest speakers) stories of encouragement for our girls because we need to make our girls feel valuable,” Youth Development Coordinator for Northstar Youth Partnership Kasey Shaver said. “We need to also let them know that they don’t always win either. You have to fight to work harder, and it’s ok if they didn’t do something perfectly, just keep trying (and) you’ll get better.”

Throughout the day, girls played volleyball, went through an obstacle course, learned color guard, participated in gymnastics as well as Zumba.

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“Hopefully some of these girls will feel a little bit more willing to try some new activities,” Woodruff said.

Shaver mentioned the event has been open for 7 to 14-year-old girls with many returning to be volunteers as they get older.

"It makes them feel empowered to try something new with a group of girls that’s trying new things as well so it isn’t as scary," Shaver said. “I love seeing them through the years and seeing they are still involved with sports."

Along with hearing from Woodruff and participating in a variety of activities, the girls also went home with a backpack full of goodies.