Women deserve more than just a pat on the back!

by Amya Jones

Although the sports industry has always been male-centric and it seems athletic women have been swept under the rug and left out of today’s sports industry, vigorously active women are now improving in the sports market. Whether it’s a four-time gold medalist Simone Biles, or Serena Williams winning her 23rd title these women are apart of a tremendous movement bringing more acknowledgment to females in competitive athletics.

The impact of athletic women not being celebrated enough can diminish their chances in certain circumstances. This puts a divide between male and female outcomes, success in sports or leagues means notoriety and fortune in greater instances for male athletes as amateurs and professionals. A broaden visibility in advertising or campaigning can provide a powerful symbolic representation of strong female role models for the youth that leads to similar advantages.

Shyra James an Olympic hopeful, began playing soccer at the age of 4, she excelled tremendously and was put on a local organization with girls that were three years older than her. As the only freshman on Varsity soccer at Preuss, her previous high school, she set the record with an astonishing 52 goals. Shyra now as an 11th grader, attends Helix Charter High School and continues to play soccer at an intense level while also participating in extracurricular activities such as varsity volleyball for a third year.

For instance,  Shyra plays travel soccer at an exceptional level with San Diego Surf Soccer Club helping her team become 2nd overall in the nation by scoring a total of 16 goals, in the 2017 season. Shyra was selected to join an elite team which is connected with her club called Development Academy, the objective of this program is to practice almost everyday in order to help transition these athletes in to world class players. Shyra is particularly dangerous with the ball at her feet in her position as forward. Shyra being 5’7 uses her powerful, fast, and dynamic skills as an advantage to demolish her opponent, as a defender, you wouldn’t want to come across her.

Being on an advanced team includes traveling to play the best of the best, she has traveled all across the country from coast to coast giving her best performance every game. Shyra was soon invited to 3 US National Training Camps located in California at the Olympic Training Centers. Shyra has the ability to qualify for the 2022 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is a tournament where nations from every corner of the world come to play against the top players in the nation to see which country has the best team in the world.

With Shyra being busy or gone most of the time keeping up with school is not a problem for her. Her astonishing 3.73 GPA is one of the reasons she committed freshman year to a Division 1 school, Colorado University. She plans to major in physiology to become a pediatrician because she finds pleasure in making kids happy and just being in their presence, she wants to be able to change lives in a positive way. Shyra emphasizes, “I want to become a better person than I was yesterday.” Shyra has a mindset of there is always room to improve and nothing can stop her from being the best.

Improving our sports industry will mean that a passionate, smart, and made for greatness athlete like Shyra James is celebrated in her community and can plan on a wealth of opportunities her talent is worth.

She gives thanks to her parents because when she didn’t want to play they pushed her past her limits and made her not only a better athlete but also a better student. She is motivated to gain as much knowledge as she can in both school and soccer. Definitely be looking out for Shyra James on the soccer field or in the classroom giving her best. She is excited for the future and cannot wait to officially become apart of Colorado University in 2020.