This weekend, I attended the Women In Sports Expo at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess hosted by the Bermuda National Athletic Association and the Bermuda Olympic Association. The purpose of the event was to highlight women in what is typically known as “a man’s world”, spotlight Bermudian female athletes and promote all around good health.
The expo began with a banquet on Friday night with guest speaker Lisa Leslie. The former player now co-owner of the Los Angeles Sparks gave an inspirational speech about her life growing up and the support she had from her mother. She encouraged spectators to embrace their differences and to believe in themselves no matter what challenges they face. She also encouraged the audience to appreciate their craft and their present experiences because one never knows how it will effect their future and impact others. Lisa, a four time Olympic gold medalist, proclaimed Bermuda as her new favorite place, proclaiming to return in the near future with family and friends.
Saturday’s expo included exhibit booths of various organizations and sports groups, guest speakers and fun fitness demonstrations including Zumba, gymnastics, skipping and salsa.
Guest speakers included Bermudian Olympic athletes – Arantxa King (Long Jump -Track & Field), Paula Lewin (Sailing), Jenaya Wade-Fray (Basketball) and Jessica Lewis (Paralympian). Other guest speakers included Bermuda’s first Carifta Games medalist Branwen Smith-King (Assistant Director of Athletics – Tufts University, Bermudian),Teresa Perrozi (Boxing Middleweight World Chamption, Bermudian), Bermudian Track & Field record holder Debbie Hunter, Anjali Forber Pratt (American Paralymmpian), Pauline Thompson (Gold Medalist- Track & Field from Bahamas), Chrissie Wellington (Ironman Triathlon World Champion) and Bonnie Bernstein (American Sports journalist, former ESPN correspondent and Vice President of Content and Brand Development of Campus Insiders).
Each speaker spoke about their accomplishments, how they reached their goals, and the strength it takes as women to preserver in sports. All of these women are great examples to young girls of what they can become in the future; not just as a professional athlete but as a strong, well rounded individual.