The Women’s Intersport Network for Southern Illinois was established in January 2012 with the mission to educate and empower girls and women in southernIllinoisthrough sport and physical activity. WIN for SI is based off the WIN programs inKansas City,SpringfieldandColumbia,Missouri. WIN for SI is a volunteer, membership-driven organization whose purpose is to help the region develop a better awareness of girls and women’s sports and physical activity opportunities and to establish further support for amateur and college athletics in Southern Illinois.
Studies show that “girls and women who participate in sports have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well-being than girls and women who do not play sports” (Women’s Sports Foundation 2001). Many of our current female business and political leaders attribute their success to their involvement in sports. For older women, “regular exercise provides a myriad of health benefits, including improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, lipid profile, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and neurocognitive function. Regular physical activity is also associated with decreased mortality and age-related morbidity in older adults” (Am Fam Physician, 2002). As a result, the vision of WIN for SI is to build networks that provide and create awareness of sport and fitness opportunities in the area. Additionally, WIN for SI seeks to recognize the contributions and achievements ofSouthern Illinoisgirls and women who participate in sport and physical activity.
WIN for Southern Illinois is dedicated to building networks that provide resources that advocate the lifetime value of sport and physical activity for girls and women and promotes those opportunities in the southern Illinois region. Some of our means of accomplishing these purposes include providing educational outreaches, organizing support of sporting and physical activity opportunities, developing special events that provide opportunities for sport and physical activity, and the recognition of the participation, contributions, and achievements of girls and women in sport and physical activity through an awards ceremony.