Amber Balcaen: The Underdog of NASCAR

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NASCAR and women are not synonymous; not yet anyway. But there’s a woman, Amber Balcaen, who hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba who’s working her absolute hardest to change that. She is the only Canadian to compete in the 2014 and 2016 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine and the 2015 Bill McAnally Racing Drivers Expo. In 2016, she became the first Canadian woman to win a NASCAR sanctioned race in the USA and earned Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series for Lee Pulliam Performance. Now signed to Martin-McClure Racing as their NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver, this full-time racer and part-time student is poised to take NASCAR by storm. We got the chance to chat with Balcaen about her journey to racing, women in NASCAR and lots more. Find out what she has to say, you won’t be disappointed…

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GLADIATHER® LAW: DEVOS & WOMEN IN SPORTS

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By now most of you are aware that last week the Senate held it’s confirmation hearing for President Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.  By a lot of people’s standards, DeVos’ performance was cringeworthy.  She avoided agreeing to uphold federal laws that protected disabled students, supported guns in schools to protect students from grizzly bears and revealed that she wasn’t knowledgeable in basic concepts about educational standards.  She provided little clarity about the tone she would set for the Department of Education and while it’s not immediately apparent, that also means there’s little clarity about the direction of women in sports. How could DeVos and the Department of Education possibly influence women in sports? For that answer I’m bringing you another installment of GladiatHer® Law.

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DR. KIMBERLY CLAY: EMPOWERING US TO PLAY LIKE GIRLS

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Back when I was growing up, doing anything like a girl was an insult. These days though, girls and boys are learning that women are strong and capable and that doing things like a girl can make you pretty successful. One of the main people responsible for changing the rhetoric, is Dr. Kimberly Clay. Dr. Kim is the CEO and Founder of Play Like a Girl!®. She works seemingly non-stop to make America a healthier place by focusing on some of its most precious assets, girls and women. She has used her personal experiences and professional expertise to build an organization that is truly poised to change the world.  Continue reading

LaChina Robinson: Fighting to Make You Love Women’s Basketball

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Right now it may be difficult to avoid thinking about how racism and sexism continue to permeate American society.  But in the midst of political and social upheaval, it’s so very important that we also focus our energy on women and people of color who are winning in spite of powers hell-bent of their suppression. So today we bring you the story of and interview with LaChina Robinson. LaChina is a former standout Wake Forest basketball player. After a successful career in college basketball, LaChina transitioned into sports broadcasting. With a laser focus on expanding the coverage of and respect for women’s basketball, LaChina has firmly cemented herself as a force to be reckoned with. She is a reporter and analyst for NCAA and WNBA basketball with the ESPN family, FOX Sports and NBA TV; and she hosts espnW’s “Around the Rim” podcast. Beyond talk of women’s basketball, LaChina is a woman of substance. As she grows her brand she is careful to offer a helping hand to those who come after her and quick to credit her success to a higher power. Meet LaChina Robinson.  Continue reading

GLADIATHER GRADS: SYDNEY SATCHELL, AMPUTEE & INSPIRATION

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It’s not everyday that you meet women who change your life. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to do just that. Sydney Satchell has gone from being a Division-I athlete to an amputee and an inspiration for so many in a relatively short amount of time. She has found the strength, courage and wisdom to turn her adversity into life lessons for so many. I’m honored to share this GladiatHer® Grads story with you. Continue reading

GLADIATHERS OF IG: Th33BestICanBe

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Guess what, we’ve got a new feature for you guys! We’re constantly inspired by the women and girls we see on Instagram who show their awesome athleticism and dedication to sports.  So we decided to start sharing some of these women with you! GladiatHers® of Instagram will highlight some women and girls we think you should take a look at and follow for inspiration on staying healthy, being fit and being positive.  Our first GladiatHers® of Instagram hails from Liberty City, Miami. With 3,034 followers (and counting) she is the epitome of strength and tenacity.  Meet Th33BestICanBe…  Continue reading

HAIL TO THE REDNECKS

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Not too long ago I found myself in my home state of South Carolina standing in an NFL gear shop with my brother. I was doing some shopping when I characteristically found myself engaged in football banter. The target of the Townes Trash Talk was a random, middle-aged white man. He was an avid Carolina Panthers fan, and my brother and I proudly pull for the burgundy and gold of the NFC East. When we mentioned that our team resided in the nation’s capital, this random man said, “Oh, you like the Washington Rednecks.” My brother and I shook our heads, laughed it off and continued with our light-heartedly back and forth. But when I got home, I couldn’t seem to shake the fact that this man had called my beloved team the Rednecks. Rednecks. The term didn’t personally hurt my feelings but his statement served as a wake-up call. While the term redneck conjures up a number of images, the one I’m most familiar with is that of a rural, poor, white, Southern person who holds bigoted, ultra-conservative views. Growing up in the grand old South I had run into my (un)fair share of those kinds of “rednecks.” So when the gentlemen called my team the Rednecks, that’s what I saw; a bunch of racist white men flying burgundy and gold flags with pictures of Native Americans on them.

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