In September, Development and Communications Intern Ruth Logan wrote on the importance of strong female athletes. As a follow-up, every two weeks Ruth will report on women’s sports. Because athletes deserve equal coverage.
Mixed Martial Arts – On Sunday, former world boxing champion Holly Holm defeated Ronda Rousey by a second-round knockout at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia. Fifty-nine seconds into the second round, as Rousey ducked, Holm broke off at an angle and delivered a left head kick to the jawline, rendering Rousey unconscious. Rousey was taken to the hospital and later pronounced physically healthy. This was Rousey’s first lost in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
Tennis – Over the weekend in Prague, defending champion Czech Republic won its fourth Fed Cup title. In the decider, Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic went 4-6 6-3 6-2 to secure a 3-2 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina of Russia. The match lasted over two hours, with Russia gaining an early advantage before the Czech team fought back for the victory.
Basketball – This week marks the start of the 2015-2016 NCAA women’s basketball season. Last Friday the second-ranked University of South Carolina Gamecocks and sixth-ranked Ohio State University Buckeyes started the season on a fast-paced note. The lead went back and forth for most of the game. Then at 2:38 the Gamecocks broke from a 78-78 tie by simply taking over the paint. A’ja Wilson broke the tie with a jumper and then added three inside scores to end the game with a 88-80 South Carolina win. Both teams proved that they are strong contenders for the 2016 NCAA Championship Final Four.
PeacePlayers International continues to support the development of young female athletes in basketball and peacebuilding clinics. In Israel and the West Bank, where only 25% of participants in competitive sports are women, more than 70% of PPI’s program participants are female. A chance to play basketball has given PPI participants, male and female, a brighter future.