Image C/O: Vanderbilt University
Sarah Fuller the twenty-one year old Vanderbilt Senior who has been all over the media in the past week has definitely left her mark on the sports industry. Over this past weekend she became the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football conference game, making football history. With that being said, she will play on Saturday vs. Georgia, and she was in fact named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Fuller is known for the slogan that she presents on the back of her gold helmet reading, “Play Like A Girl.” This reference is from a nonprofit organization that works to create equal opportunities for all women within the sports community. This established organization is based in Nashville, Tennessee and they explain that they “serve more than 1,250 girls and women annually through a variety of programs and events.” They also offer STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) camps and other programs that have reached more than 25,000 girls and women.
In a interview for Vanderbilt’s website Sarah spoke, “The fact that I can represent all the little girls out there that have wanted to do this or thought about playing football or any sport really, and it encourages them to be able to step be able to step out and do something big like this, it’s awesome.” She then continues, “I want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to.” The important thing to take out of this is that the accomplishments Fuller is achieving are incredible and she has fortunately influenced many young girls today to keep their head up and strive for the best.
Being a young woman myself, and one of the hosts on the “Play Like A Girl” Podcast for the Sports Fan Base Network of Rhode Island, I understand the significance behind her decision to wear and represent this in particular. When younger girls watch Sarah Fuller on t.v. while seeing that slogan it makes them feel inspired, and less ashamed when people marginalize their abilities. The term “Play Like A Girl” used to be referred to as an insult and over time it grew into a courageous movement. The image that is being portrayed by Fuller to others is that if she can make history, become the SEC Special Team Player of the week and be the first female to play in a Power 5 conference, who says that other female athletes cannot do the same. Sarah is an inspiration to hundreds and thousands of females around the world and she just wants to demonstrate that any girl can do what they set their mind to.