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  • Goals, Sports

    I Am A Female Sports Journalist

    I am A Female Sports Journalist

    I Am A Female Sports Journalist

    And I Plan to be The Best

    I’ve always had a passion for watching sports, mainly football. I never really considered being a sports journalist until a year ago when I realized I’m good at calling plays and predicting what the announcers will say.

    So, I decided to pursue something I’m good at – covering sports at my high school.

    I created a Twitter page to post articles and interviews of players and coaches. I also started a “Senior Spotlight” dedicated to Senior athletes. Prior exposure is vital to being a good journalist, so I’m starting at school. Also, there are not many female sports journalists on television so my goal is to make it to the top.

    I’ve set my mind on this goal and I do not plan to stop.

    Although the process to get articles written and interviews scheduled has been tedious and stressful, my first Twitter post will be on March 4th. If you are interested in following me and staying updated, be sure to follow @mayakitchens on Twitter.

    My overall message is that it does not matter how much time and effort something takes to achieve, as long as you are having fun and are passionate about what you are pursuing, it will all be worth it in the end.

    This is cliché but one hundred percent true – never give up on your dreams!

  • Confidence, Health, Lifestyle, Sports

    My Figure Skating Journey

    On my third figure skating lesson, I broke my finger.

    It must have been a spectacular sight: my tall, fairly stable body was brought crashing to the ice by a girl not more than half my height and no less than a third of my age. It was really only a matter of time, seeing as I was older than everyone in my skill group by at least a decade. However, I had never truly felt my age until I was kneeling on the ice, finger throbbing, at eye level for the first time with my group mates and trying to comfort the crying young girl who had accidentally tripped me.

    A scenario like this had never really crossed my mind when I entered the sport.

    I decided to take lessons initially because a close friend of mine had introduced me to competitive figure skating as a spectator sport. I would watch full broadcasts of past World Championships and Grand Prix circuits while making art, doing homework, on long car trips, and whenever I had nothing in particular to do. Before I knew it, I had familiarized myself with all of the common terminologies of the sport and had a ranking list for which skaters I expected to win which medals at the 2018 Olympics. Watching the fast, dramatic, yet elegant athleticism of the top athletes reminded me of my days as a dancer in elementary school. I felt my childhood joy reigniting, and decided to give figure skating a shot. Yes, I may have under anticipated just how much time and effort would be needed before I could actually land a Lutz or perform a perfectly executed scratch-spin, but I was motivated like I never had been before and the world wasn’t about to stop me from trying.

    I asked for lessons for my seventeenth birthday.

    Even though the closest rink to me was thirty minutes away on a day with no traffic. I didn’t even own a pair of skates, yet I went to my first class that March. I was aware that I would be the oldest skater in my beginner group, as many of the female skaters my age were already in the professional bracket. However, the swarm of tiny five and six-year-old girls zooming around the ice in tutus caught me completely off guard.

    My newfound confidence dwindled.

    I was in way over my head thinking that I could ever reach the level of the awe-inspiring women I watched so religiously on Youtube. My dreams of standing on the top of a podium with a medal hanging proudly around my neck slipped into the realm of the unattainable. I doubted that I would ever even land a small bunny-hop, much less a graceful triple Salchow. It would only occur to me after I had passed the basic classes and looked back on them, that those tiny girls with all of their talent and potential, probably felt the same as I did. Suddenly I didn’t feel so different from my teammates, despite the fact that none of them could even tie their own skates yet. The throbbing in my left ring finger felt more like the first landmark on a long journey than a detour.

    It has been a year and a half since my first lesson.

    My finger has completely healed (except for a small bump in my knuckle that will probably never go away) and my coach has praised me for how fast I picked up on the technical elements of figure skating. She tells me to breathe before I take the ice for my first competition, and the gold medal I hang over my bed later that day makes me excited for what will come next.

  • Articles, College, School, Sports, TRENDING

    Groundbreaking female football player Becca Longo’s advice to young girls: ‘Don’t listen to all the negativity’

    Becca Longo, 18, is believed to have become the first female in history to earn a football scholarship with a top-tier college team when she signed a letter of intent Wednesday with Adams State University.

    Longo, a high school senior from Arizona, said she would tell young girls who have big dreams like her to “do what you love” and ignore the negativity.

    “If they want to play football, go out and play football. If they want to play hockey, they can go out and play hockey,” Longo said today on “Good Morning America.” “Just don’t listen to all the negativity because you’re going to get a lot of it.”

    “Just go do what you love,” she said.

    Longo was introduced at a signing ceremony Wednesday at Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, as the first woman to sign a letter of intent to play football at a Division II level college or higher, according to ESPN.

    Longo, who will also play basketball at Adams State, said she was as surprised as anyone.

    “I didn’t believe that it was true,” she said. “I just remember sitting there and Coach [Gerald] Todd saying that I was the first girl to ever do that. … I was so blown away.”

    Making Longo’s rise to the ranks of college football even more improbable is that she only played football for two seasons in high school.

    “I started playing my sophomore year and then I transferred schools so I had to sit out my junior year and I didn’t get to play until my senior year,” Longo said. “I didn’t really expect to play after high school until sort of the middle of my senior season, which is kind of late.”

    Longo also overcame injuries and defied doctors’ expectations in her rise to become a college athlete.

    “The doctors told me that I couldn’t play sports ever again and I just kind of like used that as motivation to prove them wrong,” she said. “I love both of my sports too much to just give up and I’ve spent so much time and money and effort just to just let it all go.”

  • Lifestyle, Sports, TRENDING

    14 Year Old is being called the Best Rock Climber in the world!

    A week before her 15th birthday, Ashima Shiraishi, the unlikely climbing prodigy from New York City, got an early present. During a spring-break trip to Japan, she climbed a boulder problem with a difficulty rating of V15—essentially, at the current limit of climbing difficulty.

    This makes Shiraishi not only the first woman to climb a V15 boulder problem, but also the youngest person, male or female, ever to do so.

    Bouldering involves climbing rocks, often around 15 or 20 feet tall. No ropes or gear are needed other than sticky-rubber climbing shoes, chalk, and crash pads made of lightweight, firm foam to help soften falls. Each boulder problem takes a distinct path up the rock, with a defined start and finish. Any of the handholds and footholds located between those two points are usually considered to be fair game, so the challenge then becomes figuring out the sequence of hand moves, foot moves, and twisty body positions that allow you to go from start to finish without falling.

    Unlike normal rock climbs that use the Yosemite Decimal System rating of difficulty (e.g., 5.8, 5.10a, 5.15a, etc.), boulder problems are measured on the “V-scale,” an open-ended system that begins with V0 (think: climbing a ladder) and currently reaches V16.

    “Ashima is unstoppable right now, and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon,” says Angie Payne, a top female climber from Colorado. In 2010, Payne climbed a boulder problem called Automator, making her the world’s first woman to climb the V13 grade. “She is an incredibly talented climber who is gaining more and more momentum in her climbing each year.”

    This is the second year in a row that Shiraishi has made headlines while on a spring-break climbing trip. Last year, she traveled to Catalonia, Spain—a region renowned for its world-class sport climbing, which differs from bouldering primarily in its reliance on ropes and gear, and also has its own rating system. In Spain, at a climbing area called Santa Linya, she achieved a quick ascent of a 5.15a rock climb, debatably making her the first female to reach that level in sport climbing.

    “Ashima is one of the most talented sport climbers I’ve ever seen,” says Lynn Hill, an international rock-climbing legend who, in 1992, achieved the first free ascent of the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park—a monumental accomplishment.

    “I admire her determination, patience and incredible ‘lightness of being,’” says Hill. “I’m happy that she is the most accomplished young climber to date—male or female!”

    Having now achieved both a 5.15a sport climb and a V15 boulder problem, Shiraishi is the first young woman to join a very small, elite group of climbers who have ticked both of these pinnacle, benchmark grades.

    Bouldering is a game of powerful, dynamic, anaerobic movement. Sport climbing, meanwhile, with its 70- to 100-foot long routes, favors endurance or power-endurance. Climbers often do both, but are better at one or the other, usually. To perform at such a high level in both disciplines is akin to a runner winning an Olympic medal in both the sprinting and long-distance categories.

    Shiraishi has been the focus of much media attention over the past few years, appearing in features on the BBC, in the The New Yorker and Time magazine, who named her one of “the 30 most influential teens of 2015.” In an interview with me conducted earlier this year, she remarked on the pressure she feels to push her own climbing to new levels.

    “I feel like sometimes I have pressure to become the first woman to do a V15, or become the first woman to do a 5.15b,” she said. “But, then again, that’s exactly what I want to do.”

    Typically, cutting-edge ascents in rock climbing will take most elite climbers weeks, months, and sometimes even years. Shiraishi, meanwhile, has demonstrated that she can perform at a cutting-edge level rather casually while on spring break.

    “What she’s already done on just a few short school breaks each year is unbelievable,” says Josh Lowell, a director and filmmaker for Big UP Productions who is currently working on a film about Shiraishi for this fall’s REEL ROCK Tour. “When she has the time and freedom to go out into the world and develop her own vision for what’s possible, we might see some incredible things go down.”

    “Imagine what would be possible if Ashima devoted weeks, months or years to climbing something at her absolute limit,” says Payne. “V15 is definitely not the stopping point for Ashima.”

    Indeed, Shiraishi, who turns 15 years old on April 3, seems to be just warming up.

    To Read The Full Article, Click Here:

  • Celebrities, Health, Lifestyle, School, Sports

    Home Run! See how these two women are making baseball history

    Until this week, the Sonoma Stompers, a professional independent baseball team based in northern California, was an all-male affair. But that changed when the team hit a historic home run by signing two women to its ranks.

    Congratulations to 17-year-old outfielder and pitcher Kelsie Whitmore and 25-year-old pitcher and infielder Stacy Piagno, who will now be in the team’s starting lineup (Whitmore in left field, Piagno pitching)!

    And they’re here to stay.

    “This isn’t a one-day event,” Sonoma general manager Theo Fightmaster (we love his name!) told “That’s been done a dozen times. Let’s give women a chance to be part of a team, let’s give women a chance to play against men.”

    If there’s no crying in baseball, there’s been no coed teams with multiple women in professional baseball in over 60 years. Three women did play in the 1950s Negro Leagues, and more recently two female pitchers (Ila Borders and Eri Yoshida) played pro ball in the U.S. at different times.

    But Sonoma, which is part of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, is changing the game by expecting to play both women at the same time.

    Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, whose winery Virginia Dare is a partner with the team, had pitched the concept to Fightmaster, who went on a three-year search to find the right players.

    “My family would play coed baseball games and inevitably the star player would always be an aunt who could run and hit, and that made the games so much more fun,” Coppola (director of such movies as “The Godfather”) said in a statement. “When watching Major League Baseball, I always wondered why there couldn’t be a coed team.”

    “When Francis tells you to try, you try,” said Fightmaster to (Hey, at least he wasn’t making an offer the team couldn’t refuse.)

    The team’s newest players are expected to take the field on Friday, thus cementing the historic moment when they no longer need a league of their own.