Approximately 150 sixth-grade girls from John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica were expected to attend the 21st Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day at the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside Wednesday, February 6th.

The celebration included motivational talks by professional and collegiate athletes, sports skills and drills activities for gymnastics, martial arts, volleyball and basketball, a Title IX lecture and healthy lifestyle information.

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

The event 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 event 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.

Girls and Women in Sports Day is celebrated in all 50 states with community-based events, award ceremonies and activities.

YWCA Santa Monica/Westside officials said the organization has a rich history in sports. The girls basketball league, created in 1986, provides girls the opportunity to experience competitive basketball, develop skills and learn teamwork. Over the past 19 years, the league has allowed thousands of girls to stay involved and become empowered to face the challenges ahead, according to YWCA.

The organization has provided community service programs to women and children in more than ten Westside communities for 78 years.