Women’s Sports in Western MA
Sports of all kinds are an important part of American culture – we rally around favorite teams almost religiously, and fans of all ages adorn themselves to represent their favorite players from the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB. We bite nails over the World Series, carefully piece together brackets for NBA Final Four guesses, and Superbowl Sunday might as well be a national holiday… However, many of the most well-known teams and most-watched events feature only male athletes. Women’s sports are still working to reach a comparable level of visibility, despite the existence of hundreds of talented female athletes playing a host of different sports.
Luckily, though, thanks to the plethora of colleges in Western Massachusetts (including multiple women’s colleges), opportunities for families to cheer on dedicated female athletes in action are frequent! Girls can learn a lot from attending a college-level game, match, or tournament – even if they aren’t athletes themselves. They can learn about sportsmanship, and the importance of hard work and dedication. Plus, athletic women provide an image of the female body that is a positive and constructive contradiction to the images of women presented in mainstream media, and their strong and powerful bodies can serve as models for the development of positive body image. Spectating at a women’s sporting event can be a great experience for boys, too, as it can help them develop a less gendered view of athleticism.
Throughout the academic year, women play field hockey, soccer, volleyball, ice hockey, and softball; they run track and cross country; and they participate in synchronized figure skating and leap, flip, and tumble on gymnastics teams – the choices are endless. Check out each institution’s athletics calendar to choose an event (or two, or three) to attend!
- American International College in Springfield, MA: www.aicyellowjackets.com
- Amherst College in Amherst, MA: www.amherst.edu/athletics/allsports
- Bay Path College in Longmeadow, MA: athletics.baypath.edu
- Elms College in Chicopee, MA: athletics.elms.edu
- Hampshire College Amherst, MA: www.hampshire.edu
- Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, MA: athletics.mcla.edu
- Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, NA: athletics.mtholyoke.edu
- Smith College in Northampton, MA: www.smithpioneers.com
- Springfield College in Springfield, MA: www.spfldcol.edu
- University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA: www.umassathletics.com
- Westfield State University in Westfield, MA: www.westfieldstateowls.com
- Western New England University in Springfield, MA: www.wnegoldenbears.com
- Williams College in Williamstown, MA: williams.prestosports.com