Mercyhurst celebrates women in sports

At the women’s hockey game on Saturday, Feb. 4, against Niagara, Mercyhurst University will celebrate the 2012 National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Bethany Brun and Lauren Packer-Webster pioneered the event at Mercyhurst.

Brun is a Mercyhurst graduate and a former rower who continues to work on campus in the Service Learning Department, and Packer-Webster is the associate athletic director.

This inaugural celebration on campus will bring recognition to the achievements of girls and women in athletics. Additionally, it will promote college exposure to girls in the community who would otherwise never visit Mercyhurst or any other college or university in the area.

“My hope is by introducing these girls to the role models like our Mercyhurst athletes, one or more young ladies might be inspired to pursue a college education through athletics,” Brun said.

More than 100 girls are expected to attend. Any girls in grades K-12 will receive free admission to the game.
Advertisements and other promotional materials have been sent throughout the Erie School District. The Girl Scouts of Northwest Pa. and other local youth sports programs are expected to attend.

Brun attributes the initial idea to a similar event she attended in her youth at the University of Dayton.

“I attended the event with my Girl Scout troop and tried out a number of sports, including rowing on an erg in a 100-meter piece,” said Brun. “I then participated in a rowing camp, rowed through high school and received a scholarship to Mercyhurst. One hundred meters was all it took to change my life.”

Events will include poster-making, interaction with female student-athletes, free food, getting photographed in a Laker jersey, promotions and giveaways during the game, and one girl will get to perform the ceremonial puck drop at the beginning of the game.

The game is set for 7 p.m. in the Mercyhurst Ice Center.

If you would like to register a female child or have any questions, log on to and click on the special events tab or call (814) 824-3101 for more information.