Written By: Sophie Stameson
On February 27, 2019, over 1,400 female high school athletes joined together in celebrating Women in Sports at a day-long conference sponsored by the Orange County Athletic Directors Association. Participants were selected by coaches from various schools and sports in CIF Southern Section. Some of the sports represented included basketball, cross country, track & field, field hockey, lacrosse, sailing, soccer, softball, swim, tennis, volleyball and water polo. The successful event has been held for nineteen years to develop leaders and competitors in women’s athletics and life. Newport Harbor sent 17 representatives for the day-long event.
Speakers for this year’s program included five inspirational women sharing their personal journeys, the role sports played in shaping their careers and character development through teamwork.
Jayne Strand is a former college and professional basketball player from Ames, Iowa. She played basketball on scholarship for University of Northern Colorado and then continued to play professionally in Melbourne, Australia. She now works in sales/marketing for Gatorade in Orange County. She shared humorous stories about how her sense of humor developed through sports and landed her on multiple game shows including WipeOut, Let’s Make a Deal and The Price is Right.
Tayyiba Haneef Park is a three-time Olympian with the US Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team. At 6’7”, she helped the US win back-to-back silver medals at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. She also helped the Americans win silver at the 2002 FIVB World Championship and the 2011 FIVB World Cup. She was a college standout at Long Beach State university, including helping the 49ers to a 33-1 record and runner-up finish at the 2001 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for USA Volleyball.
Jill Jeinick was a standout athlete in softball and basketball at Aliso Niguel High School. She was offered a D1 scholarship to play softball for East Carolina University. After college sports ended, she began a successful career in sports broadcasting. First as a producer/report at WNCT in Greenville, NC , moving to TN to become the weekend sports anchor at WRCB and finally as main anchor for the Sports2Nite team.
Khloe Thompson is a young student who launched a charity called Khloe Kares to distribute personal care items to homeless women. She has distributed over 3,500 bags throughout shelters. Her future dream is to own community centers in both Los Angeles and Ghana to help more women and children rise above homelessness.
Dr. Nancy Kelly is a member of the CIF Southern Section Executive Committee and strong advocate for high school athletics. As the current Superintendent of School in Upland, she has served in the field of education for over 35 years.