CLEVELAND — The Northeast Ohio Women’s Sports Alliance (NOWSA) is helping women keep lively and compete in their respective sports whereas additionally supporting women in different methods they want.

“I think a lot of women feel like they can only do work and a family. And NOWSA is here to say if you played sports growing up, you can still play sports as an adult. And we are here to make that as accessible as possible,” mentioned Elise Bigley, who performs rugby.

NOWSA has partnered with quite a few groups in Northeast Ohio, from softball to rugby, soccer and even swimming to point out women belong in the competitive realm, similar to males.

“I think that we allow men to go out and play golf. Or do those things and it’s a little bit less typical for mom to be ok, I’ve got swim practice. I am going to be gone for three hours three times a week,” mentioned Dee Shedlow, who swims for the Cleveland Aquatic Team.

It’s Cleveland’s LGBTQ+ swim workforce. Sheldon mentioned it’s scuffling with getting women on its workforce and believes NOWSA has been a device to get extra members to affix the workforce.

“That is the component of our team that has grown the slowest. So to be aligned with an organization that focuses specifically on women and sports has been really helpful to us,” Shedlow mentioned.

Also helping women get concerned in male-dominated sports is the Women’s Football Alliance, which simply hosted their nationwide championships on the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton this previous summer season.

“These are athletes who have competed in the Olympics, have been professional athletes, are Olympic weightlifters. These are extremely serious athletes,” mentioned TJ Monachino.

Monachino owns the workforce and his father runs it. The father-son duo mentioned they acquired into it due to what it means to assist break the stigma and notion of what women’s roles are in society.

“What motivated him and what got me excited was, we together saw an opportunity to empower women and girls to be and show them they could be whatever the heck they wanted to be. It didn’t matter if you wanted to be in sports or you wanted to be an engineer. Don’t let anybody tell you know, and here’s the vehicle,” mentioned TJ.

TJ mentioned NOWSA performs a fair greater position in different avenues a girl might have like entry to psychological well being companies.

“One of their goals is to be able to offer services to people that need them. Our medical sponsor is Metro General. So in conjunction with Metro General and NOWSA we can offer counseling and psychology services and medical care. WE can help them get insured. So I think that’s one of the big things NOWSA brings to the table,” mentioned Tom Monachino, the GM of the workforce.

“There’s so many barriers for women to play sports,” mentioned Bigley. “Our goal is really to do as much as we can to minimize those barriers, so whether that’s a financial barrier. Whether that’s a mental health access or access to legal support. Really any community resource someone might need, they can get through NOWSA.”

NOWSA hopes to proceed to attach women to a particular sport they need to play, all whereas pulling down boundaries for others to play at a competitive degree.

“But it’s nice to know that there is a community out there that is supportive of it because it’s hard to get that support from other places,” mentioned Sarah Roman, of Cleveland Iron Maidens rugby workforce. “And knowing there are other adult worming women who want to stay active, who want to stay fit and keep that competitive drive that gets lost after collegiate sports.”

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