Hello DinoMights Followers! My name is Erin and I am a new, eager and excited, intern for DinoMights. I am a senior at the University of Minnesota and will be graduating this spring with a degree in Kinesiology. Majoring in kinesiology has provided a lot of insight for my coaching position during this season and for the DinoMights program in general.
Through my classes I have learned that the lowest represented social group in sports is female minorities (Asian being the least represented, then Latinos, then African Americans). I have also learned that adolescent girls in sports have a significantly better self-image and higher self-efficacy than those who do not play a sport. I was recently assigned to read a study that revealed that females who participated in regular physical activity improved their perceived body image without even changing their Body Mass Index. Just this last week my class discussed an article revealing that kids living in an urban environment are most influenced by peer support, among 8 other variables, to be physically active.
DinoMights addresses all of these issues. This year DinoMights made an effort to recruit more girls and expand the girls program; inviting them into a program that provides opportunities to set goals, be physically active, make friends, and naturally gain a healthier self-image and self-esteem. I was the lucky coach with the majority of these new girls, allowing me a unique opportunity to personally witness what the program means to them.
I witnessed girls go from hardly being able to stand on the ice at the beginning of the season to being able to hockey stop (with a common reaction of: “Erin, LOOK! I can STOP!”). I witnessed a GIRLS hockey team full of DIVERSITY playing on a SPORT team together against other teams with sportsmanship and positive attitudes. I witnessed girls committing to waking up early for practice and being physically active at a time most heads are still on their pillows. I witnessed girls disappointingly counting down the years until they can no longer be in DinoMights (they still have 8-9 years left!). I witnessed my player’s schoolteacher attending a game to videotape and cheer on her student. I witnessed girls beg to be dropped off last after games so they could continue having fun with their teammates and coaches in the van. I witnessed girls consoling their teammate after she was crying from the pain of her toes thawing out after an outside game.
I witnessed laughs, smiles, hugs, and high fives.
I witnessed goals being achieved, friendships being built, and confidence growing.
To these girls DinoMights makes a difference. Perhaps more than it realizes. This, among many other reasons, makes me so thankful to be a part of this program. I simply cannot think of any other organization I would rather be interning for.