You’ve Come a Long Way, Duckie

Michael Bigham FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

They are some of the finest athletes in collegiate sports: Alaina Bergsma, AVCA National Player of the Year; Jillian Alleyne, third all-time in collegiate basketball double-doubles; Liz Brenner, multisport All-American and finalist for the Sports Illustrated College Athlete of the Year; Laura Roesler, winner of the Bowerman Award; and Courtney Ceo who led the nation in hitting last year. Two things unite these players: First, they’re all Ducks and second, they’re all women.

In 1970 when I was a student at Oregon, my friend Cindy Voelker started at the point for the women’s basketball team. Back then, “girl’s basketball” was little more than a club sport. They played their games in a musty gym in the basement of Gerlinger Hall, six players to a side, no fanfare nor any fans for that matter. Things were still stagnant in 1980 when Duck runner LeAnn Warren made the Olympic team. Women were barred from competing in any Olympic race longer than1500 meters. What a difference 45 years have made; now Oregon women’s teams routinely compete for national championships.

As far as women’s sports have come at Oregon, there’s more to be done. A new program, Women in Flight, has been created to promote Oregon women’s sports. Duck alum and softball player, Janelle Bergstrom Cook has returned to the University of Oregon to lead the initiative.

“I’m really excited that, for people with interest in women’s sports, there are now more resources to connect interested parties to our programs,” Bergstrom Cook said. “We have a lot of really amazing young women and really amazing constituents – donors, former letter winners, professionals in the community – who will have more chances to collaborate, network and, ultimately, strengthen Oregon.”

For as little as a $50 donation to Women in Flight, you can help promote women’s sports and Oregon and gain priority seating for reserved seats in the new Jane Sanders softball field. Sport just isn’t about the men. The women’s program at Oregon is a model for the nation, but there’s more to do and you can help; contribute now.

Top Photo by Gary Breedlove

New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….

During the off-season the publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.

In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.

The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there.  At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.

Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) do not tell anyone what to think, feel or write, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!

OBD Forum members….we got your back.  No Trolls Allowed!