Girls from around the Garden State gathered to hear from five notable female voices in the golf industry within the state. Michelle Melia, Christina Paulsen, Noelle Maertz, Christina Parsells and Kelsey Solan joined as panelists to discuss their own experiences as female golfers.
February 2nd marks the 36th anniversary of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Since 1987, this occasion has been a day to recognize and commemorate females and female sports.
“The biggest thing for me, for myself and the young players that I coach is that they grow as young women and that’s really the biggest and most powerful thing about competitive golf,” expressed Melia, LPGA Professional and Director of Golf/Head Women’s Golf Coach at Monmouth University.
Sport enables girls and women to reach their potential in life. The NJSGA offers a total of eight girls and women’s championships as well as Women’s Golf Days and a slew of member benefits.
“Being a girl that plays golf is very cool, said Parsells, current social media manager at Golf Digest. “When someone hears that you’re a girl and you know how to play golf, whether it’s in finance or in the golf industry or in any situation, that’s very cool and there’s not a lot of us out there. It opens up a huge network that offers a lot of opportunities.”
Female involvement in sports has evolved significantly since the Title IX law was passed in 1972. The legislation called for equal participation of everyone in all the programs and activities that were federally funded, which meant all public schools would ensure equitable sports opportunities to the students, regardless of their gender.
“What I would say to all of you, is that you need to keep at it,” said Melia. I’ve been asked to leave a club or come back after 12 o’clock, whatever it may be, but every time you tee it up, just keep going at it.”
There are plenty of local and regional golf opportunities for girls around the Metropolitan area. Information on these resources can be found here.
The evening was also highlighted by a message from LPGA Professional Marina Alex, a native of Wayne. "I really do believe golf is one of the best sports for learning to become a well rounded person and a really strong and confident woman," Alex said.
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