Olympic Gold Medalist to speak at luncheon

Monday, January 26, 2009 | 5:03 p.m. CST; updated 2:06 a.m. CST, Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Win For Columbia, an organization that focuses on promoting women’s athletic participation, will host the Women’s Intersport Network for Columbia’s 12th Annual Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The event will take place in the Southwell Complex at Columbia College.

The luncheon praises women who have excelled in sports and physical activity. The guest speaker at the event will be Olympic gold medalist Nikki Stone, who won her gold medal for inverted aerial skiing at the 1998 Summer Olympics in Japan.

Columbia College Softball coach Wendy Spratt is one of the original members of Win For Columbia and helped put the event together. Spratt said the luncheon is a bi-product of Win For Columbia’s original goal.

“When we first started, we were trying to get women to go to sporting events,” Spratt said. “As a group, it was hard to get everybody together. So, we started the luncheon to get the girls and women who work hard at sports recognition.”

The event offers several different awards, including Female Coach of the Year, Mentor of the Year, Gladys Stankowski Sportswoman of the Year, Collegiate Sportswoman of the Year, High School Sportswoman of the Year, Youth Athlete of the Year and the Inspiration Award.

Spratt said the awards are designed to encourage women to get even more involved.

“I think for the people who are nominated, it gives them recognition,” Spratt said. “For the other women athletes in the community, it lets them know that this is attainable.”


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