LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. - The New Jersey State Golf Association (NJSGA) spent Wednesday evening celebrating and empowering young New Jersey women at the NJSGA’s 3rd National Girls & Women in Sports Day event, held at USGA Headquarters in Liberty Corner, New Jersey. The evening was highlighted by panelists Alyson Ramsey Johnson, Gia Liwski, Tracy Parsons and Julie Peluso – a quartet of influential New Jersey women in the golf industry.
Offering thoughtful input on being a female in sports and golf, Johnson, Liwski, Parsons and Peluso had no shortage of knowledge to share with the audience, which was made up of high school and college age girls and women.
“If golf is your passion, and you don't want to become a teaching role, or if your if your path is not playing on the LPGA, do not give up the game, because it will take you so far in life, no matter what business you choose, whether it's in the industry or not,” Ramsey Johnson expressed.
Since 1987, National Girls and Women in Sports Day has been a day to recognize and increasing athletic opportunities for girls and women in sports, as well as advancing the struggle for equality on the playing fields.
The four panelists provided invaluable insight on the experiences they’ve faced as a female in sport.
"We’re all judged,” Liwski added. “You're going to be judged all the time. Get used to it and don't let it faze you. Be who you are and people will appreciate who you are. We get used to it and we become more confident. You’d be surprised once you stop caring about what people think about you and how things turn around.”
“Golf doesn't define who you are,” Peluso started. “We have good days and bad. Some good numbers and some bad numbers. It's hard not to leave that golf person and feel the weight of that disappointment or be proud of the success. After years and years of playing golf, I look back and wish I didn't let it define who I am because there's so much you need to accomplish in a day, a week, a year - friendships and family and all the other things., Let it be a platform that takes you to other places, but don't let it define you.”
Parsons, Director, Championships at the USGA expressed the growing interested and involvement in golf for young females.
“In my time at the USGA, it's been really interesting. Year over year, we've seen an increase in entries, specifically the US Girls Junior Championship. We reached an entry record last year, 1677. Girls really wanted to participate in that event. Our previous entry record was 2018 so you can see that Junior Golf, especially on the female side is exploding. As a championship director throughout my years, I'm starting to see more people from clubs, whether it be a General Manager or Superintendent, folks on the grounds crew, folks in leadership positions, even club presidents who are women. I'm starting to see more female representation in the club staff and the leadership staff and also in the membership.”
Each female attendee under the age of 18 recieved a complimentary NJSGA membership. To close out the night, several prizes were raffled off and the panelists opened up the floor to additional questions and wisdom.
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