Golf News for Tuesday, October 13, 2009 | Awards

Annika Inspiration Award created to honor young female athletes

NEW YORK -- The Women's Sports Foundation and the ANNIKA Foundation have teamed up to create the ANNIKA Inspiration Award to honor exceptional young female athletes. The national award, the ANNIKA Inspiration Award presented by the Women's Sports Foundation and the ANNIKA Foundation, will be given to a young woman who has been inspired by someone in her life and who now excels in her sport while demonstrating leadership qualities, taking time to give back to her community or sport, and, in turn, serving as an inspiration to others.

"I credit much of the success in my career to my father's inspirational words, 'There are no shortcuts to success,'" said Annika Sorenstam, founder of the ANNIKA Foundation. "Knowing how impactful one person can be, I am honored to be a part of the recognition of amazing young women who continually inspire and encourage those around them."

Sorenstam, who is among the greatest icons in golf and sports, has garnered countless achievements throughout her illustrious career including: 10 LPGA major championships, eight LPGA Tour Player of the Year Awards, and inductions into the World Golf Hall of Fame and LPGA Hall of Fame. Aside from her achievements on the golf course, Annika is dedicated to sharing her formula for success with youth who don't have the same opportunities, experiences, education or resources available to them.

"The Women's Sports Foundation is thrilled to be establishing this new award with Annika," said Karen Durkin, CEO of the Women's Sports Foundation. "Having world-class athletes like Annika be part of our work to help young women lead healthy and active lives is critically important. This award exemplifies everything we promote to women of all ages and also demonstrates how our Foundation can work with athletes and their foundations in new and different ways."

The ANNIKA Inspiration Award will promote and advance the educational mission of the Women's Sports Foundation as well as the primary goals of the ANNIKA Foundation. These goals include teaching children the importance of leading a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, increasing fitness participation and access for girls where none is affordable to them, and creating a safe space for girls, and girls with disabilities, to participate in fitness related activities. Nomination forms will be available in early 2010 and the deadline for all submittals in June 2010. Nominations will be accepted from coaches, teachers, athletic directors, parents and peers across the United States. All nominees must be 18 years of age or under.

The winner of the first-ever ANNIKA Inspiration Award will be unveiled in October 2010 at the Women's Sports Foundation's Annual Salute to Women in Sports awards dinner in New York City, known as the year's biggest night in women's sports.

About the ANNIKA Foundation
The ANNIKA Foundation teaches children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offers aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. The foundation supports junior golf programs by offering golf scholarships and hosting girls' major junior championships around the world. The ANNIKA Foundation is also developing a physical fitness and nutrition program for children to realize their full potential and dreams, whether in golf, in other sports, or in life.

About the Women's Sports Foundation
The Women's Sports Foundation—the leading authority on the participation of women and girls in sports—advocates for equality, educates the public, conducts research and offers grants to promote sports and physical activity for girls and women. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, the Women's Sports Foundation builds on her legacy as a champion athlete, advocate of social justice and agent of change. We strive for gender equity and fight discrimination in sports. Our work shapes public attitude about women's sports and athletes, builds capacities for organizations that get girls active, provides equal opportunities for girls and women, and supports physically and emotionally healthy lifestyles. The Women's Sports Foundation is recognized worldwide for its leadership, vision, strength, expertise and influence. For more information, please call the Women's Sports Foundation at 800.227.3988 or visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org.

Contact:
Daniel Cirminiello
516-307-3930 (o)
Associate4@WomensSportsFoundation.org

Elizabeth Benz,
Brener Zwikel and Associates
w: 212-708-3329
c: 352-514-0550
e: elizabethb@bzapr.com