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Girls and Sports: Mallory Pugh

Girls and sports go together like peanut butter and jelly. Really! Even though sports such as football, baseball and even soccer seem like they’re dominated by men, take a look around at all of the awesome women winners out there. From tennis greats such as the Williams’ sisters to the embers of the U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team, girls totally represent when it comes to sports. One of these fabulous women is Mallory Pugh. She might not be much older than you, but she is already a sports star on the rise. At only 18-years-old, Pugh was the youngest player ever in the U.S. Women’s National Team player pool. And, that’s not all.

Bright Beginnings

Even though Mallory Pugh is a well-known soccer sensation now, she once was a little girl who tagged along to her older sister’s club practices. It was there, at these practices, that her mad soccer skills started shining bright. Of course, that doesn’t mean Pugh hadn’t played before. She started at the young age of four, and then followed in her sister’s footsteps. It didn’t take long for Mallory to become a standout though. In 2010 and 2011, she helped her team (Real Colorado) win state titles. In 2013 and 2014, Pugh helped Real Colorado win runner-up at the national championships. She was also named MVP of her regional tournament.

During Pugh’s junior year in high school, the soccer player scored a whopping 24 goals and had 12 assists in 18 games, helping her (high school) team get to the state semifinals.

Olympic Goal

She might just be a girl from a town outside of Denver, Colorado, but when Pugh hit the Olympic soccer field in the 2016 games, she made a stir. That’s to say the least. The then-18-year-old player was the second youngest woman to compete in an Olympic soccer game since 1904. Not only did she make news for this, but she also became the youngest player to score a goal during an Olympic game – and that is ever!

Player of the Year

As a high school junior, Pugh won Gatorade’s National Girls Soccer Player of the Year Award. But, that’s not the only award this young player has won. In 2014, she also won the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Youth National Player of the Year for club soccer.

Sports and Education

Don’t think that Pugh put off school entirely just because she has an amazing soccer ability. Yes, she had to take time off from her education to train and compete at an Olympic level. But, the sports standout also graduated from high school and made plans to attend college. Her post-high school educational career includes attending UCLA (starting in January of 2017), where she will also play for their soccer team.

What can you learn from Mallory Pugh? That with hard work, focus and practice, you can do anything you set your mind on! To score an Olympic goal at the age of 18 shows that anything is possible. If you come up against obstacles, or someone tells you that you just won’t succeed, think about Pugh. Remember that there was a time when she was just a little girl trying to follow her sister’s lead. Now she’s a leader – showing the world that women are exceptional athletes too!

Photo Credit:  Makaiyla Willis (CC by 2.0)

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3 Tips For Getting Into The Olympic Spirit

 

 

The Olympics will kick off in Rio on Friday August 5 2016 and continue for over two weeks. With the 2016 Olympic games approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how your team is going to get involved this year. While a trip to Rio may be off the cards, there are other ways you can celebrate these historic games.

 

International sporting competitions like the Olympics are a great way to encourage team bonding, sportsmanship and some healthy competition within your team. Your team will be inspired by the athletic performances on offer at the Olympics. The Olympics encourages people to watch sports, to talk about sports and generally become interested in sports. This can be great for team morale and provide a boost to your team members. So, to make the most of those two weeks of sporting fun, here are three tips for getting into the Olympic spirit:

Have an opening night party

The opening night celebration at the Olympics is a pretty big deal. The hosting countries usually spend a great deal of money on an entertaining and vibrant evening performance to be enjoyed around the world. You’ll get to see some of your favorite athletes and cheer on the US as athletes are introduced to the cheering crowds. Invite your team mates to watch the celebrations!

Hold a mini Olympics

You don’t need to leave the Olympics to the professionals, you can get your team involved too. Why not organize a mini Olympics event for your team to compete in? This could be a day long tournament with your neighboring teams, allowing the local community to get involved and support community sports. A general athletic competition solely for players from your team to get involved with could also be a valuable event. Selling tickets to the event and putting the money towards something new for a good cause could also serve as a fundraising event for your team.

Celebrate your sport

Whatever your sport might be, you should take this opportunity to celebrate it with your team. Invite the team to join you watching your favorite sports professionals compete for the medals. Nothing builds comradery quite like cramming in the club house and watching the games around a television. It’s also a great learning opportunity, after all, these competitors are the best in their field, what can your team learn from them?

 

How will you be celebrating the Olympics this year?