BarnBurner Sports Writer
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Shes4Sports hosted their 7th event tonight. The #OWNIT discussion panel consisted of Kay Stefankiewicz, the in-game host for the Toronto Raptors, Caroline Wiley confounded of “SeeWhatSheCanDo,” Caleigh Rykiss founder of BOLO inc., Nichelle Laus owner of Opimum Training Centre, Jennifer Huggins 3-Star International boxing judge and referee, Esther Wallace (VIA Skype Call) former division 1 basketball player and founder of Playa Society, and of course the host/mediator and founder of Shes4Sports Ainka Jess.
OWN IT had many people come out, from students to parents, to locals in the area, and it was great to see some men coming out to the conversation to speak amongst us women. A lot of the focus on the panel stemmed from the use of social media as a tool used in the growing of these ladies business’ as well as their own personal branding. Many touched base on the hardships of getting a spotlight of female sports, and how the coverage of women in the sports business whether an athlete or in corporate , or just simply enjoying the game - is in need of being publicized more in order to make the movement of the female sports industry blow up!
Jennifer Huggins. A 3- Star International Boxing Judge and Referee, as well as the owner of Kingsway Boxing club had more to her story than expected. Not only is she doing the most in the boxing world, she’s even a magicians assistant. Yes, I wrote that correctly. She assists a magician doing all those tricks you’ve seen before (sawing in half, disappearances, etc.Jennifer also has quite the schedule, as she jus got back from India, and is heading out to Russia next week. Though all for work purposes, she most certainly loves the travelling life, something I was able to take from her instantly. One thing that stood out most for me was her stressing the idea that if you know your craft and you’re passionate of it, quote, “you will be doing what you never thought you’d amount to.” As many of the other panelists mentioned, she never went to school to become a business owner and yet, here she is. She even touched base on the fact that, though women’s sports need another woman to further an event, men are also needed. Everyone is needed in order to make the future of female sports sky rocket. As she mentioned, she is somewhat of a feminist, though believes entirely that “both parties, men and women need to be a part of the conversation in order to grow the conversation.”
Caroline Wiley, co-founder of SeeWhatSheCanDo, a media based company giving the exposure of female sports that has been missing in the papers and on TV. Caroline mentioned that her idea sprung upon her and she confided in her girls of her hockey team, where she then put the pen to the paper and started brainstorming with her colleague. Caroline was very moving in her words as she expressed that she wanted to start doing what wasn’t being done - seeing the stories that were missing ...the women. She stuck with me heavily on the idea that “what’s being done off of television, is sometimes better than what’s being shown on television.” Thus, focusing on the great athletes and games that women are participating in but aren’t being credited for. Her guidance and media based focus on solely women’s sports is something that I think everyone would love to see and is hoping to see in the near future.
The event wrapped up with a Q and A portion where everyone was open to ask a question. And the room was flooded with curious individuals which sparked even greater conversation. A successful event, and a fun environment led to everyone leaving with a fire burning inside.