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Team USA Paralympian Martha Ruether will be the keynote speaker on Tuesday, April 16, for the 33rd annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day at St. Bonaventure University’s Reilly Center Arena from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Ruether, a graduate of Allegany-Limestone High School and the College at Brockport, State University of New York, holds the all-time record for swimming for Allegany. She started her swim career at a camp for people with visual impairment.
She went on to participate and earn a spot in the finals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Ruether captured the gold in the 50 meters at two Pan Pacific Championships. She participated in a number of U.S Paralympic Para National Championships and holds numerous National Championship titles. In Tucson, Arizona, she won the 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle S13.
Ruether is an assistant coach for the SUNY Brockport swim team and coordinator of women’s recruiting.
In her keynote address, “The Finish Line Doesn’t Care That I’m a Woman,” Ruether will address a topic she says is important to female athletes around the world.
“Men’s sports are often reported to have higher attendance rates of spectators than women’s, but my experience at the Rio Paralympic Games proves both genders can reach the same level of sport,” said Ruether.
Graduating from SUNY Brockport in 2018, Ruether was a freestyle sprinter and breaststroker for the Golden Eagles. She is a multiple-time Academic All-American and earned a degree in psychology.
Some 500 students from 24 middle and high schools will attend National Girls and Women in Sports Day, where they will choose three clinics to participate in alongside St. Bonaventure women’s sports teams: basketball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, rugby, tennis, swimming, cross country and track, and volleyball.
St. Bonaventure Army ROTC students, physical education, health science and sport studies majors, and YMCA Yoga, will host a fitness challenge and strength and conditioning program for the participants as well.
After lunch, provided by St. Bonaventure students, there will be an SBU student-athlete panel for the participants to ask athletes about their experiences and sports at St. Bonaventure.
The St. Bonaventure Admissions team will provide tours of campus for students from 1 to 2 p.m. This is also an opportunity for students to visit the SBU Bookstore, the ROTC rock wall and continue to talk with St. Bonaventure athletes and coaches.
The National Girls & Women in Sports Day celebrates extraordinary achievements of those who helped change and create opportunities for females in sports.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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