Young Latinas are showcasing their athletic power, strength and competitive side in a wide range of sports. Girls are making a mark on the wrestling mat, golf course, soccer field, dance stage and many other sports arenas. Joining a sport has many benefits such as staying in shape, being healthy, learning how to work in teams, making friends, meeting new people and having fun. The choices can vary from dance, golf, soccer, fencing and even joining a wrestling team. Here are the stories of some Latinitas who are in different sports and love them!
Jessenia Marie Zambrano is a fifteen-year-old musician, artist and athlete from New York City. Jessenia is an active competitor of the sport fencing. She is coached by Buckie Leach, who has helped Olympic champions in the past, at the oldest Fencing School in America, The NY Fencers Club.
“Fencing is a very unique sport. Not that many kids grow up and think that they want to be an Olympian fencer because the sport is not as common as swimming, ballet or baseball. I began fencing when I was 6 years old. Going on 10 years now fencing, and its still a big part of my life since the day I started. I love the intensity in fencing and how people have different styles of displaying their flow of the game. Some girls are smooth, elegant and light on their feet. Others can be aggressive, mean and passionate in their yell when they score a touch. It’s an intense logical sport. It’s also emotional just like any other sport can be. All kinds of people fence. Some do so because they compete and others fence because its simply fun! It’s playing with swords. Who cannot see that as fun? Don’t worry that blades are zero percent sharp.” – Jessenia
Jocelyne Hernandez is a junior in high school and serves as team captain of her golf team. She also likes to play soccer. She encourages other girls to join sports as well because it teaches hard w0rk, goal-setting, team work and discipline.
“I am more of a soccer player, but I barely joined golf. Although I’ve played for a short time, I love hitting at the range. Golf is not an easy sport but I’ve learned to be self- reliant…I think its great that girls join sports… Girls who are in sports do better in school… Playing sports helps build character, you learn what teamwork is all about and you set your goals.” – Jocelyne
Jessie Nicole Barron is a high school junior and has been a wrestler for about a year now. Jessie also thinks that wrestling is a hard sport because it is physically and mentally demanding, but encourages others girls to step up to the challenge.
“I’ve been in wrestling since the summer of 2012… What I love about wrestling the most is that I can get rid of any stress and building muscle… The hardest thing about wrestling is everything! It is not like another sport, it’s not for everyone. In wrestling you need to be mentally, emotional, physically and spiritually strong…Wrestling is a challenging sport; however, if you are interested in trying it, you should! It’s always good to take a challenge and see how far you can go.”
Gaby Werthmann is a freshmen in high school and is in the dance team at her school. She enjoys a sport that lets her get fit while being creative and artistic at the same time. She thinks the most rewarding part of being in dance is the feeling you get when you learn how to do something that you have been working on for a while.
“It is good for girls to start dancing because it is a good way to stay in shape, and there’s always something new to learn and accomplish… Just the smile on your coaches face that tells you you did well, it makes me want to try harder and go to the next level because I know I can do it.”