This past Thursday, more than 200 teenage girls attended a special screening of ESPN’s Nine for IX films “Venus Vs.” and “Coach” at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The participants came from a variety of nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles including Girls, Inc., Girls on the Run, Boys & Girls Clubs and The Bresee Youth Center.
Following the screening, the girls participated in an all-female “Inspire” panel hosted by ESPN LA’s LaFern Cusack with WNBA star Lisa Leslie, X Games Moto X Enduro X rider Maria Forsberg and Vice President, X Games Events and Development Tori Stevens. The panel shared stories about their own careers, lessons they learned along the way and how they face obstacles in life.
“I think it’s important to talk to young girls because I remember being a girl in school when speakers came to visit and although they may say exactly what your parents are saying, it’s different coming from a role model,” said Leslie, a four-time Olympic gold medal winner who spent 12 seasons in the WNBA. “If I can help even one girl it’s worth it.”
The event was organized by Team ESPN to empower underserved girls with a special focus on the Nine for IX message. Following the panel, the participants were invited to X Fest where they received a special gift bag from Team ESPN, ESPN Films and the Grammy Museum.
“This event was a really important way for Team ESPN to engage the community in our company-wide celebration of the Title IX anniversary,” said Vice President, Corporate Outreach Kevin Martinez. “We hope that hearing directly from incredible female athletes like Lisa and Maria and an accomplished executive like Tori, as well as learning about the inspiring stories of Venus Williams and Pat Summitt through the Nine for IX screening, will have a profound impact on the girls who attended.”
– By Kristen Hudak
ICYMI: Highlights from the past week on Front Row
• ESPN’s X Games host Ramona Bruland got a 180 m.p.h. introduction to NASCAR recently when X Games veteran and NASCAR Nationwide Series rookie, Travis Pastrana, took her on a few laps at Daytona International Speedway.
• ESPN SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele shared her experience as the honorary pace car driver for the start of the Sunday’s Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
• In a Front & Center podcast, ESPN NFL analyst and soon-to-be Pro Football Hall of Famer, Cris Carter, reflected upon the past few months leading up to his enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
• The 2013 college football season will kick off Thursday, Aug. 29 with North Carolina at South Carolina on ESPN. ESPN’s four-person college sports PR team has taken to Twitter with daily tweets about ESPN’s college football coverage in anticipation for the season’s start.
Row of Four
Our favorites from across ESPN over the past week
• From Rick Reilly: How does a legally blind writer cover the Reds? Hal McCoy found a way.
• Need a few laughs to kick off your weekend? These images should get the job done.
• From ESPN Ombudsman Robert Lipsyte: Tackling Olbermann, Silver and Nine for IX.
• Enjoy an array of photos from ESPN Images