The WIN for KC Women’s Sports Awards Celebration Luncheon on Thursday, February 4, 2016 will honor six local residents for their impact on women and girls in our community through sports.
Children’s Mercy Youth Sports Girl Award
Claire Tietgen is a strong, confident special needs 13-year-old who has won 11 gold medals in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has joined her school’s wrestling team. Just a few years ago, Claire was contemplating suicide after enduring years of intense bullying. Her Dad enrolled her in a class at Brass Boxing and Fitness where she immediately took to the moves and quickly realized she was strong. Claire has started a scholarship fund to help kids get access to sports and a campaign that works with celebrities to share their experiences with bullying.
BKD WOW Award
FC Kansas City Blues is Kansas City’s professional women’s soccer team and they are two time, back-to-back National Women’s Soccer League Champions after defeating the Seattle Reign FC 1-0 in Portland on October 1. Despite losing four players for part of the season to the Women’s World Cup Team, FCKC made their way through the season to the Semifinal of the National Women’s Soccer League Championship where they would shutout the Chicago Red Stars before moving onto the finals. The NWSL has been in existence since 2013 and FC Kansas City has won two of the three national championships.
UMB Senior Sportswoman Award
Marilyn Deister has coached over 13,000 synchronized swimming practices since forming the Kansas City Sea Sprites in 1951. At the age of 90, Marilyn still coaches four practices a week. Marilyn fell in love with sports before Title IX. She participated in gymnastics, joined a swim team and loved basketball. She graduated in 1951 from the University of Missouri with a degree in Health and Physical Education. Marilyn inspires girls from as young as 3 to women in their 60s to be the best they can be in and out of the pool.
Katie Sowers is a key leader and advocate for girl’s and women’s sports in Kansas City. She is also the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Athletic Director, where she creates opportunities for both boys and girls to participate in sports. She started a Girls and Women in Sports Committee to discuss ways to improve an imbalance between opportunities for girls to participate in sports. Katie has been instrumental in creating opportunities for girls to participate in traditionally male sports like football and baseball. Katie Sowers is also the quarterback and general manager for the Kansas City Titans.
Lockton Resiliency Award
Two years ago Alana Vawter played volleyball, ran cross country, swam and was a star on her softball team. Then after having a severe reaction to a bacteria called mycoplasma pneumoniae, she was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome, which is described as the body burning from the inside out as the disease causes extreme blistering of the skin and mucous membranes. Alana spent 8 days in the ICU with over 90% of her body covered in blisters. After a long recovery process, Alana led her volleyball team to win a national qualifier, her club softball team to win the ASA Hall of Fame tournament and was back on the field this fall as the only starting freshman on the Staley High School State Champion Softball Team.
Hallmark Cards Leadership Award
Kelly Siebert had never played lacrosse. But when her daughter wanted to play in the Northland, she found no existing programs for girls. So she started her own lacrosse league. Soon she had a team of 15 elementary and middle school girls. To build enthusiasm for the sport, Kelly led lacrosse clinics during PE classes and after school programs and developed a mentor program. Today Park Bulldogs Lacrosse has grown by 350% and has three teams that participate in the KC Metro Youth Girls League.
About WIN for KC
The Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City (WIN for KC) was established in 1994 with the mission to ignite girls and women through advocating and promoting the lifetime value of sports and fitness, while providing opportunities for participation and leadership development. WIN is a volunteer, membership-driven organization that operates as a program of the Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation. For more information, visit WINforKC.org. For the latest on WIN for KC news, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About The Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation
The mission of the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation is to drive Kansas City’s overall sports strategy, to enrich the quality of life, create economic impact and raise visibility for our region. As a privately-funded nonprofit, we are entirely dependent on your support. For the latest on Kansas City Sports Commission news, follow on Twitter, Facebook Instagram and YouTube. Also follow the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.