RICHMOND, Va. – Behind one of the best turnarounds in the country this past fall, the VCU field hockey program really started to rise on the national stage. That rise took another step forward on Friday when the Black & Gold were selected among 14 programs to host USA Field Hockey's new "You Go Girl" development initiative.
"We are so very excited to team up with each of the fine universities to not only grow the game, but also, improve the lives of young women living in at-risk environments" said USA Field Hockey Executive Director, Steve Locke.
The You Go Girl program is an initiative that will expose the sport of field hockey and enhance the lives of girls, ages 10-18, in urban or non-traditional areas. With the help of current NCAA student-athletes, USA Field Hockey will look to introduce field hockey to over 1,000 young women in metropolitan areas.
Each of the selected colleges possessed an astonishingly strong commitment to community service, a clear comprehension of the program or a distinctive opportunity to work with urban or at-risk girls, but most possessed all three.
"The goal was to have a balanced spread, both geographically and through all three divisions of NCAA field hockey," said You Go Girl Program Manager, Simone Attles "If we could have awarded 25 locations, we surely would have. But that is part of the excitement of year one, there's always room to grow."
Each university will receive equipment, provided by program sponsor CranBarry Field Hockey, to use during mentorship sessions at local schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs. The program not only includes basic field hockey coaching, but also highlights additional topics, including healthy lifestyles, nutrition and the value of higher education.
"One of the core ideas for the program was knowing that all of these metropolitan universities, with field hockey teams, existed right down the street from a young woman who may have never seen the sport. The mission became 'how can we use our sport to better the lives of girls living right next door?" said Attles.
These 14 schools will be asked to regularly report to USA Field Hockey on participation numbers and mentorship hours for the remainder of the spring and summer semester. The NCAA field hockey team who accumulates the most hours will be announced in fall 2013.
Listed below our each of the communities this program will be in and the universities tasked with mentoring the local youth.
- Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Michigan (University of Michigan)
- Baltimore, Maryland (Goucher College)
- Chicago, Illinois (Northwestern University)
- Durham, North Carolina (University of North Carolina)
- Hartford, Connecticut (Trinity College)
- Louisville, Kentucky (University of Louisville)
- New Haven, Connecticut (Southern Connecticut State University)
- Philadelphia, PA (Temple University)
- Richmond, Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University)
- Rochester, New York (University of Rochester)
- Springfield, Massachusetts (American International College and Bay Path College)
- Springfield, Ohio (Miami University)
- Trenton, New Jersey (Princeton University)
Note some universities will be working in neighboring cities or communities and not necessarily their campus location. Additional universities can apply in October 2013 at usafieldhockey.com.
The You Go Girl program is a part of USA Field Hockey's greater campaign, Grow the Game. The Grow the Game campaign will expose the sport and inspire participation in both male and female athletes, coaches, umpires, parents and fans. Together, let's Grow the Game.