At this point, if you’re reading this and you don’t know about our annual Play Like a Girl Summit, then shame on you! This year, we convened Nashville girls and women at Belmont University for a healthy dose of inspiration and empowerment.

The Play Like a Girl Summit was created in 2015 to celebrate the stories of women in sports who have paved the way for the next generation of game-changing women, and furthers our founding belief that girls given the opportunity to play on a team become women who have the confidence to stand on their own.

This year’s conference spanned two days, February 16-17, and was hosted in partnership with Belmont University Athletics and the Women’s Sports Film Festival. Our goal for the 2018 Summit was to provide actionable tools for girls’ advancement at school, on the field and in their communities and the world around them.

Olympic gold medalist and former WNBA champ Chamique Holdsclaw kicked off Day 1 of the Summit with a visit with Belmont students and participated in a luncheon focused on women in sports. The former Lady Vol discussed her journey from a broken home to basketball super-stardom, offering insights on her struggles with mental illness and often-difficult path to recovery. Holdsclaw also screened her documentary, “Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw” with members of the public.

On Day 2, attendees got the chance to experience a variety of speakers including 21-year-old softball phenom A.J. Andrews who urged the girls to love themselves and their bodies. Andrews, who was the first woman to receive the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2016, shared images from her photoshoot for the 2017 Body Issue of The ESPN Magazine during her talk on body image and confidence.

Following a discussion about sports philanthropy with NFL player Ben Jones’ wife Alex, attendees were treated to a high-energy workout with Allie Lamb of POUND Fitness. They were also able to meet female executives from Nashville’s major sports teams: Lindsey Paola (Nashville Soccer Club), Laurie Scott (Nashville Predators), Tina Tuggle (Tennessee Titans) and Destiny Whitmore (Nashville Sounds). Each of the women talked about their career climb in the sports industry and how they are working to ensure more seats for women at the boardroom table.

Post-conference, we collectively headed to Belmont’s Curb Event Center for the Belmont vs. Morehead State women’s basketball game complements of The Belmont Bruins who recently became the first school from the Ohio Valley Conference to crack the Associated Press Top 25 ranking since 1992. Special guest and former AAU basketball champion Dr. Robin Martin presented the ball on behalf of Play Like a Girl.

Nashville’s leading women sports journalists Madison Blevins, Jessica Bliss and Dawn Davenport served as conference hosts throughout the day. And our own Board and Leadership Council members Kenisha Rhone, Cecelia Townes, Jenne Blackburn, Christy Pruitt-Haynes and Nailah Ellis Timberlake spoke and assisted with a variety of tasks meant to create a fun, social-media-friendly day for our girl attendees.

If you missed it, see above (shame on you!), and visit our Facebook page for images from the super fun, super satisfying 2018 Play Like a Girl Summit. And to stay on top of upcoming events, join our email subscription list.