October 11 was International Day of the Girl, and the OSEG Foundation is doing its part to honour the occasion. The foundation is launching a Girls in Sports fundraiser, with proceeds going toward advancing the lives of women and girls through sports and physical activity, by keeping them in the game.
It’s a cause close to the hearts of the Ottawa REDBLACKS, and a few members of the team who are fathers to young girls are showing their support. Defensive lineman Lorenzo Mauldin IV, and Nigel Romick, as well as receiver RJ Harris, want fans to know why they should support this initiative.
The Foundation caught up with the fan favourites, who took part in a Q&A session for RNation:
Tell us a little bit about your relationship with your daughter.
ROMICK: « Well, since she’s only 7 months old..our relationship is a dream. I can sit her down wherever, she doesn’t talk back, and when I’m exhausted her smile gives me the energy to get through my day. I hope it’s still like this when she’s 16 (laughs) ».
MAULDIN: « We have a funny bond her and I it’s so unique and pleasant. She’s every bit of her name: Serenity. I know what she wants without her even asking, and she likes to take care of me when I’m sore and tired from practice. It’s so great to have her as my babygirl ».
HARRIS: « My relationship with my daughters is one of, if not the most important things in my life. I want to be the best parent, and role model to them, while also being their best friend, so that they feel comfortable enough to confide in me and share things with me as well. I want to set an example for what a strong, loving and caring male looks like in their lives so when it comes for them to find a man of their own in the future, I have hopefully set a standard ».
What is your biggest wish for your little girl?
ROMICK: « My biggest wish for my daughter us that she always believes in herself. That she isn’t afraid to take risks, and is kind, confident, and knows her self-worth ».
MAULDIN: « My biggest wish for Serenity is for her to grow up happy and become the greatest as whatever she wants to become ».
HARRIS: « My biggest wish for my daughters is that they are genuinely happy in whatever they decide to do with their lives. I want them to know that whatever avenue they take, that I will always have their backs and support them 1000% along the way. I don’t want any barriers to block them due to their gender, or the colour of their skin. If they want to be the president, or an astronaut, or a scientist, they know that myself and their mother will always fully support them along the way ».
We know there is a lack of gender equity in sports, as the father to a little girl what do you hope will be different for her?
ROMICK: « While gender equality has come a long way, we still have a ways to go. I hope these women trailblazers of our generation continue to push boundaries and bridge the gap, so my daughter can play any sport or position she wants to ».
MAULDIN: « I will hope that woman’s sports will become more important to the entertainment businesses to show little girls like Serenity that goals need to be set and that will teach them just that ».
HARRIS: « As mentioned earlier, I hope that I have set an example of what it’s like to face adversity and challenges, and meet those head on. I want them to learn from my experiences and mistakes, and grow from them. When they see a sport that may lack gender equality, such as football, rather than shy away, they see it as a challenge that they want to take on. Hopefully by the time they’re at the age of youth sports, there is more women in the sport, but if not, they could be the ones to stand up and be the spark needed, if that’s the route they decide to take ».
Why would you encourage people to support this the OSEG Foundation’s Girls in Sports fundraiser?
ROMICK: « Sport and physical activity is such an important fundamental for our youth, especially in young women. It teaches discipline, gives you motivation and creates opportunities for future endeavours ».
MAULDIN: « This fundraiser is going to change many lives, and better them by way of support and acknowledgment. Little girls who will become women have a chance to do what they love, and grow a passion for something, and this campaign will help steer and push them to be the best they can be with minimal worries ».
HARRIS: « The reason I would support the OSEG Foundation’s Girls in Sports campaign is simply for the fact that it provides girls and women an equal opportunity. There is no reason that women should not be provided the same opportunity in sport as men, if their love and passion for the game runs just as deep. We need to provide equal opportunity for these young girls at an early age, so they aren’t steered away from a sport that they have grown to love so much ».