COLUMN: Women’s Football Clinic makes lasting impression

By Kelsey Horath

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the second annual Women’s Football Clinic held by Louisiana Tech Football.

The event started at the Davison Athletics Center, where attendees were welcomed by players and coaches. 

Setting the tone for the night, each player and coaching staff present took the time to introduce themselves and share a little about their life with attendees over a meal of tacos and drinks.

Never having the chance to meet many players and coaches in my time at Louisiana Tech, I enjoyed this opportunity to learn a little more about the faces on the field. 

After introductions, Community Advocates from the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team (D.A.R.T.) spoke a little about their organization and their mission in the community, which is where all proceeds made during the clinic were donated. 

Before the event, I had very little knowledge on the D.A.R.T. organization or the impact they have on North Central Louisiana areas. The organization provides help to domestic and dating violence victims and their children in the parishes of Jackson, Lincoln, Union, Winn, Claiborne, Bienville and Grant.

I was also unaware of their statistics and shocked to discover some just in Lincoln Parish alone. 

“D.A.R.T. served 282 women in the year of 2022,” Kris Barney, community advocate, said. “We also served 29 men.”

The organization also served 329 children in the parish and had 130 arrests for domestic violence. 

With more statistics stated by Barney throughout the talk and gaining a better understanding of the organization, I am so glad for the opportunity to have attended the clinic.

Organizations like D.A.R.T. play such influential roles in our own backyard and community members’ lives, yet we sometimes never even realize. I am thankful to now know more about D.A.R.T. and be able to share this resource when the time comes. 

Later, a tour of the Davison Athletics Center was given, which I ironically still got lost in trying to leave after, and areas used for film and training were shown. 

During one pit stop of the tour, attendees got to talk with coaches’ spouses and hear about their perspective during football season. Many opened up about the challenges that comes with having a partner in the sport and sacrifices of family time during season; however, finding ways to effectively navigate these challenges and appreciate the time together more. 

I was surprised to uncover this side of football for coaches and their families and very appreciative to hear these women’s first-hand experience on the topic.

The tour ended in Joe Aillet Stadium with dozens of attendees lining up to take on drills and practice led by coaches and players. After watching many attempts at tackling a large wheel, I can confidently say I will not be getting any playing time with the team this fall.

However, I can say that next year’s Women’s Clinic is already in my calendar and looked forward to by many.