The YWCA Santa Monica/ Westside will celebrate the 20th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day with a special event from 8:45 to 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, February 7th, at the YWCA, 2019 14th St., Santa Monica. The celebration will include motivational talks by professional and collegiate athletes; sports skills and drills activities for gymnastics, soccer, volleyball and basketball; fitness and strength training; and healthy lifestyle information.

Approximately 150 sixth-grade girls from John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica are planning to attend the event.

The United States Congress chartered the National Girls and Women in Sports Day in 1986 to honor female athletic achievement and recognize the importance of sports and fitness participation for girls and women.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women’s sports.

The national sports day has evolved into a day to commemorate past and current sports accomplishments, promote participation in sports and fitness, and acknowledge the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

The day is celebrated in all 50 states with community-based events, award ceremonies and activities.

YWCA Santa Monica officials noted the association’s history in sports.

The YWCA girls basketball league provides girls the opportunity to experience competitive basketball, develop skills and learn teamwork, officials said.

The league has allowed thousands of girls over the past 19 years to stay involved and become empowered to face the challenges ahead, officials said.

For 78 years, the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside has provided community service programs to women and children in more than ten Westside communities.

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