There’s no “Female” in “Athlete”

There’s no “Female” in “Athlete”
Name: Sarah Hughson
Pronouns: She/Her
Instagram: Shughson_8

I am an athlete. There has never been a time in my life where I haven’t been apart of team, traveling to a practice or game, or being active outside. There probably will never be a time where I am not doing any of those things. I played EVERYTHING. I played, lettered, and captained my soccer, ice hockey, and lacrosse teams in high school. I played at one of the top division 3 schools for women’s ice hockey in college, competed for 4 NCAA national championships, and played on the lacrosse team in the spring. I continued playing professional ice hockey in the NWHL for two years and made the USA National Ball Hockey team and competed at the world championships last year in Slovakia.

I now coach soccer, ice hockey, and lacrosse at the high school level. The biggest part about being a “female” athlete today is how much influence we have on the younger generations. There are so many girls today that are scared to play sports. Especially scared to play “male-dominated” sports. The amount of times people are shocked that there is women’s ice hockey is wild. It is the best feeling when you go to a rink or field and see a girl on an all boys team. The best gift I have been given because of my athletic career is the ability to make a difference on younger girl athletes. Being able to play in a fairly new professional league for ice hockey gives them a goal and a dream. I wanted to play in the NHL when I was younger, that’s not possible. Now girls can look up at us and say “I want to play in the NWHL, I want to play professional women’s ice hockey”.

While it is still a work in progress, and the fight to make it a full time career is still developing, we aim to make these girls dreams a reality. It is being able to be that idol that girls can look up to realize that they can play, not only with the boys, but BETTER than the boys, that makes all the hard work, losses, and wins of my career completely worth it. There is no “Female” in “Female Athlete”. There are only “Athletes”. Equality in women’s sports is an issue that is worth fighting for and the progress being made is amazing.