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Coatesville Area Senior High School Hosts First All-Female Athlete Conference

Coatesville Area Senior High School Hosts First All-Female Athlete Conference



More than 70 Coatesville Area School District students attended the district’s first female athlete conference today, where they had a chance to learn from and listen to some of the best athletic mentors in the region.


The three-hour conference was designed to provide support, inspiration, and encouragement for the students.


Students heard from speakers like Tina Nicholson, the all-time top-scoring Chester County high school basketball player, who is Coatesville’s head Girls Basketball coach. Nicholson, a Downingtown High School grad, played under legendary coach Bob Schnure in the early 1990’s, helping to lead them to state titles, and also played in the WNBA’s inaugural season. At Penn State, Nicholson led the Lady Lions to two Big 10 crowns and was a third team All-American.


“We wanted to give our female athletes an opportunity to hear directly from those who have gone before them,” said Coatesville’s Athletic Director Lisa Luciani. “We wanted them to hear about the challenges they’ve faced that are particular to women in sports, and also help them to understand the potential of opportunities that are available.”


The conference was conceived and organized by Luciani, Senior High School Principal Brian Chenger, and Secretary of Athletics and Activities Meg Gehr.


"I think today brought a lot more awareness to issues or problems we may be struggling with,” said sophomore Tyne Roberts. “I think it’s good to have events like this because sometimes we just need an extra push or reminder of the things we are capable of achieving."


The conference also included speakers like Portia Hoeg, one of 18 female conference commissioners in the NCAA Division III Athletics and the first African-American woman to ascend to the commissioner’s chair at the Division III level.


Students heard from speakers who help athletes to improve mental health and provide support for the unique challenges females in sport may face. They also got to interact with a group called “Coaching Girls Beyond the Game” which offer programs that foster leadership skills and healthy relationships, and “Morgan’s Message,” a student mental health advocacy group.


"I think this was powerful and also moving for students,” said junior Marissa Walker. “Messages like this can get people to be more confident about themselves. It also opened my eyes even more about mental health in the sports industry.”


Female Athletes