Sports journalist speaks to NSU female student-athletes at awards luncheon

NSU celebrated the accomplishments of its female student-athletes at the annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day luncheon on Feb. 1. Sports journalist Christine Brennan, who received the Pioneer Award, given to individuals for their substantial contributions to the sports, was the keynote speaker for the event. Brennan is a columnist for “USA Today” and author of the best-selling book “Inside Edge.” She was named the first president of the Association for Women in Sports Media in 1998, and she was the first woman to be a full-time sports writer for “The Miami Herald” in 1981. Brennan shared her experiences as well as the obstacles she had to overcome as a woman in the sports industry.  She said despite the many challenges she had to endure, there was never a time when she wanted to give up.
“There was never a moment where I felt I couldn’t do it. My mom and dad just gave me and my siblings a lot of confidence and a lot of faith in what we knew,” said Brennan. Brennan said she chose a career path in sports journalism because of her love for sports and writing. “What a great thing to be able to put the two together. I’m very lucky and very fortunate. I love news. I love daily journalism. I love everything about the adventure of new things happening each day,” said Brennan. Nancy Olson, adjunct professor, knew Brennan when she wrote for “The Miami Herald.” Olson said she connected with Brennan because she was also breaking barriers in the sports industry as the athletic director at FIU, a rare position for a female at that time. “[My favorite part] was her recalling my days at FIU,” said Olson. “At the time she was a young writer and I was relatively young to be an athletic director for both men’s and women’s sports at a university. Women did not have the opportunities which they have today, and she used our experiences as examples of how far we have come since then.” Brennan emphasized how great Title IX, which requires equal funding for male and female athletes, has been for women in the sports industry since its inception in 1972. She said female student-athletes should take advantage of such opportunities. “As my dad said, ‘this ain’t no dress rehearsal.’ [They should] take everything they can from these great experiences that previous generations never had the opportunity to do,” said Brennan.

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