National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD)
In honor of the 38th annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), MS343 organized a series of remarkable events to celebrate and inspire young female athletes. The day was filled with empowerment, recognition, and a tribute to the significant contributions of women in sports. The festivities commenced with small group sessions where students delved into the stories of black female athletes and learned about the sporting journeys of some staff members who were involved in athletics in the past.
Following the enlightening small group discussions, an uplifting assembly took place to honor the athletic accomplishments of the school's own staff members. The highlight of the event was a panel discussion featuring four esteemed female athletes, two of whom were MS343 alumni – Lisyanna Bisono and Diamond Vargas. Lisyanna is a freshman at The City College of New York in the Macaulay honors program, and Diamond is in her sophomore year studying Human Biology at Hunter College. Alongside them were Rocky Harris, a professional female boxer known for her prowess in Muay Thai fighting, and Kimberly Bunkley, a champion from American Gladiators. Despite her petite stature and soft-spoken demeanor, Raquel Harris has made a heavy name for herself in the local ranks of New York as a formidable fighter in the world of Muay Thai. Known by the nickname "Rocky," she possesses a fierce fighting spirit that belies her size, packing a powerful punch that commands attention in the ring. Kimberly Bunkley is currently the owner of Brothers Seafood in the Bronx and New Rochelle, but is most known for her time as a champion on three seasons of American Gladiators in the nineties.
Following the panel discussion, students engaged in a lively Q&A session with the panelists, exploring various aspects of sportsmanship, perseverance, and success.
As a fitting conclusion to the day's events, MS343 celebrated every female student athlete in the school across different sports teams. From the girls' cross country stars to the volleyball, basketball, and softball teams, every athlete was recognized and celebrated for their dedication and achievements. "This day was not only about celebrating the incredible achievements of women in sports but also about empowering our female students to pursue their passions fearlessly," said Marisol Palau, an athlete and MS343’s softball coach, who was involved in organizing the event.
The celebration at MS343 truly embodied the spirit of National Girls & Women in Sports Day, leaving a lasting impact on the school community and inspiring a new generation of female athletes to reach for the stars.