‘Inspiring the Future’ Seminar for Female Athletes Focuses on Physical and Mental Health
When Skylar Napier was a youngster, mental health was not discussed. When life was difficult for her, she found solace in sports.
Today, with leading female athletes like American gymnast Simone Biles and tennis superstar Naomi Osaka publicly sharing their mental health struggles, it seems mental health is finally at the center of kitchen table discussions and conversations in the locker room.
“When I was growing up, sports were an outlet for me,” said Napier, the head coach of Waynesboro High School’s women’s basketball team and 2004 WHS graduate. Mental Health. I needed something to distract me from the things that were happening around me. Sport has contributed to this.
Young athletes face a number of challenges, from building a team to managing weight and time. Not to mention injuries, concussions, overtraining, sleep disturbances and anxiety.
Napier is trying to reach the next generation of female athletes and put nutrition and physical and mental health first.
For the second year, she set up a seminar and opened it up to all female athletes – of any age and school – to attend for free with a parent or guardian.
Napier, known to students as Coach Skylar, said she was initially disappointed with last year’s attendance.
“I thought it was going to be more turnout,” she said. “Then I was like, well, I hope I touched whoever showed up.
“It’s better to help one than none.”
The theme for the event is “Inspiring the Future,” and it will take place on Saturday, August 6 at 5 p.m. in the auditorium at Waynesboro High School.
The event will feature speakers including:
- Holly Rilinger, 1991 WHS graduate, JMU all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball, WNBA player, best-selling author, motivational speaker, Nike Master trainer (will attend virtually)
- Lenise Mazyck, works with children and young adults, owner of Roots Counseling LLC, licensed in clinical social work in Virginia, graduated from JMU (Bachelor of Social Work) and USC (Master of Social Work)
- Jemise Diggs and Taylor Sandidge, mother-daughter duo
“I hope the young girls can relate to them (the speakers),” Napier said. “Parents and coaches may have said something a million times, but hearing it from other people who have had similar experiences, it just may click better.”
If you have any questions regarding the seminar, you can contact Napier at [email protected]