On Friday, March 21 more than 450 girls between the ages of 6-14 will be on the campus of Converse College for the college’s first annual Girls’ Day from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Led by Converse students, students-athletes, as well as Converse science, music and art faculty, the participants will experience activities including soccer, basketball, an interactive science lab, tennis, football, yoga, Pilates, music, theatre, runway modeling, art, golf and dance. WNBA veteran and former Furman University basketball standout YeRushia “Rushia” Brown will serve as guest speaker during lunch (11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.) in the main gymnasium of Converse’s Weisiger Center.
All activities will revolve around the theme of “Power, Strength and Confidence” while celebrating femininity. Each girl will be assigned to a group consisting of 10-12 girls the same age. Each group will have an adult group leader who chaperones the group throughout the day. An artist from Colors, a Spartanburg-based non-profit organization for positive creative outlets for inner-city youth, will be overseeing a canopy/banner design station.
Sponsors for the event include Coca-Cola, Jimmy Johns, Kidd Smith and Jimmy Gibbs.
Converse Valkyries volleyball coach Ginny Alexander led a similar event in Florida for three years and is spearheading the effort at Converse. “Girls’ Day is a perfect way to bring girls in Spartanburg and surrounding communities together in one setting for a day of intriguing and fun activities, and to personally meet an inspiring woman like Rusiha Brown,” she said. “A campus environment—especially the one at Converse—is a perfect setting because of the diversity of talented facilitators and facility access. The girls will be learning from some of the best instructors in the nation as members of our science, theatre, dance, art therapy and music therapy faculty will be leading the way.”
Even though the event is a component of the Women’s Sports Foundation CAP Program (Community Action Plan), Alexander is quick to point out that Converse’s Girls’ Day is an entirely volunteer driven affair. “I am very proud that so many talented people at Converse and in the community have stepped up to facilitate an activity station throughout the day for these girls. We hope each girl will walk away having experienced something positive and to know there are limitless possibilities in the world,” she said.
A graduate of Summerville High School and Furman University, Rushia Brown is now a team ambassador for the new WNBA Team Atlanta Dream (www.atlantadream.net). Rushia is a retired professional athlete with the WNBA and FIBA’s international league who is dedicating her life to motivating aspiring young women to pursue their dreams.
By the time Rushia graduated from Furman she had been named the team’s MVP and All-Southern Conference all four years as well as two-time Edna Hartness Female Athlete of the Year. Five years later her jersey was hung from the rafters as Brown was inducted into Furman’s Athletic Hall of Fame. She was also recognized at her high school in her hometown of Summerville, S.C. when the #34 was retired and never to be worn again.
Rushia has seven years of WNBA playing experience and 10 years of international experience in 5 countries including Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Korea achieving numerous championships. Brown holds claim to two European titles; the Li