Exclusive interview with the first woman to box for GB at an Olympic Games – Natasha Jonas


Women Who Like Sport

I’ve had the pleasure of reporting on British boxer Natasha Jonas’ career for many years. Her lively personality has always made her an interesting interviewee. As well as her incredible achievements in the ring, Natasha has always been a prominent ambassador for women’s boxing and has played an instrumental part in the recent rise in females taking up the sport in the UK.

I spoke to Natasha exclusively for BBC Sport as she announced that she was retiring, 16 months out from the 2016 Olympics. She explained to me her decision, her career and her legacy.

Watch & read: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/boxing/32196444


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Blurred Line between copyright infringement and inspiration?

In the age of ‘cut and paste’ social media, this is a great article on copyrights by a Sista blogger.


Recently, a California federal jury found that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had copied the underlying musical composition of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and were liable for copyright infringement. As a result, Marvin Gaye’s estate was awarded $7.4 million in damages. Of course, we can expect an appeal in the upcoming future.[1] But what does this ruling mean for the music industry going forward?

Many believe the court got it right with its ruling and Thicke and Williams should’ve obtained a license for the use of the song.[2] On the other hand, many feel this ruling sets a horrible precedent and will have a chilling effect on the creativity process moving forward. Others even believe that this ruling will open the floodgates for similar lawsuits. Just last week, Jermaine Dupri asserted a claim that Ciara’s new single “I Bet” “sounds oddly familiar” to Usher’s “U…

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#MakeItHappenMonday – Our BossDiva Twitter list

Our “BossDiva” twitter list is designed to gather resources to enhance your brand, the business side of your sport, and better opportunities available at each stage of your athletic career. This is where we encourage you to consider yourself the CEO of your athletic career. With or without a team, you are the key person to develop your talents, enhance your skills, and create the atmosphere for your best opportunities.

Every day, you are building a you that is better than yesterday. Branding introduces you to like-minded athletes – increasing your network where iron sharpens iron. Branding provides opportunities to expand your impact in your sport and timeless influence on those who will follow you. Branding broadens your awareness about competitions beyond your circle, including sponsor and endorsement possibilities. Branding can help you connect to a mentor and broaden your leadership development skills. Branding announces who you are, what you do, and why it matters to the audiences that matter to you.

WHY NOT YOU?!?!?!?!?

At least twice a month, our #MakeItHappenMonday will direct you to some thought provoking resources to consider in your goals. You decide if it is an element helpful to your progress in reaching your next goal or an ultimate goal. Bookmark an article. Fav an idea to journal about later. Envision what the height of your athletic career could be and reach for it. We simply want to encourage you to dream bigger, break the box around you, be unstoppable – Make It Happen!


Posted in athletes, Basketball, Black Women, Bobsled, Boxing, branding, business, Golf, Olympics, social media, Sport, Sports, Sports Media, Taekwondo, Tennis, Track and Field, Winter Sports, WNBA, Women, Women Sports | Leave a comment

Sistas Who Transformed the Image of Women Through Sports

If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future.”  Chaim Potok, Davita’s Harp

African American women have always achieved excellence in sports.  Our achievements were not always celebrated. Our race and our gender have often been seen as limitations. Using the sports platform, each effort eradicated the dismissive perceptions to show we can be – – – and we are – – – competitive and intelligent, fierce and fine, strong and strategic.  This #BlackHistoryMonth celebrated who you were, who you are and who you are becoming.  We encourage you, and following generations, to celebrate each evolution as reaching your goals continues to transform the image of women through sports.

TENNIS:  Just days ago, Serena Williams earned her 19th Grand Slam Title in the Australian Open. For tennis lovers, the victory was sweetened by the opportunity to see Serena play against Madison Keys, one of many in a new generation of African American women professional tennis players making their own mark as Serena and Venus Williams refuse to go quietly into the night.  Now, it is not as rare to witness two women of color competing on the same court, but no one could forget when Venus won Wimbledon against Serena in 2008 or her championing #equality and parity in pay for all women athletes over the years.  Could the legendary Zina Garrison, the first African American woman to reach a Grand Slam Final, have imagined two women of color representing America internationally?  In her illustrious career, Zina Garrison earned twenty major doubles championships.  Ora Mae Washington, who reigned as the American Tennis Association Champion in tennis singles from 1929-1936 – seven years – and then reclaimed it in 1937, would appreciate their strides. She reigned as the American Tennis Association Champion in tennis singles from 1929-1936 – seven years – and then reclaimed it in 1937, just as Althea Gibson began her streak of ten consecutive ATA titles. Althea Gibson won Wimbledon as an amateur, in 1952.

GOLFAlthea Gibson is not only a role model for breaking racial barriers in tennis, but her transition from tennis to golf proved skills, talent and discipline could not be limited. As a golfer,  she became a member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.  Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, also a former competitive ice skater and tennis player, became one of the two first women members admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club – the home of the Masters tournament. While there is some talk of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open being played at Augusta, this year, a newer view of golfing among African American women will champion Cheyenne Woods and Sadena Parks have earned their playing status to compete in the 2015 LPGA tour.

TRACK & FIELD: One of the first women’s track teams in the United States began at the all-black Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in 1929. Three years later, Louise Stokes and Tidye Pickett qualified for the 1932 Olympics in track and field, but were not allowed to participate in the event (held in Los Angeles) because of their race. In Berlin in 1936, Stokes and Pickett became the first African-American women to represent their country in the Olympics. Alice Coachman, a star track and field athlete at Tuskegee Institute, became the first black woman to win Olympic gold, setting records with her high jump at the 1948 Olympics in London. Coachman, who dominated her sport, would likely have won more medals if the 1940 and 1944 Olympics had not been canceled due to WWII.   Wilma Rudolph, overcoming childhood polio, became the first American woman to win three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics in Rome and the first African American woman to win the James E. Sullivan Award, America’s highest honor in amateur athletics, in 1961. Willye White was the first American woman to compete in five Olympic Games.   It is inconceivable to discuss women athletes without mentioning Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Florence Griffith-Joyner who dominated the Olympics. Joyner-Kersee, whom many described as the best all-around female athlete in the world at the time, won two golds at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea and repeated as the Olympic heptathlon champ in 1992.   Flo-Jo earned a reputation as “the fastest woman in the world” when she won gold in the 100- and 200-yard runs and anchored the gold-medal-winning U.S. 4×100-meter relay team.   In 2012, the world witnessed Carmelita Jeter, the fastest woman alive, anchor the gold medal winning U.S. 4 x 100 meter relay team with Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, and Bianca Knight…at a new world record of 40.82 seconds – yeah, they did that!

BASKETBALL:  On the basketball court it’s easy to think about Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson. But how about Lisa Leslie, Chamique Holdsclaw, Swin Cash, Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson, Candace Parker or Maya Moore? Sheryl Swoope became the first player to sign the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Lynette Woodard became the first woman to join the famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.  Cheryl Miller became one of the most decorated high school and collegiate women’s basketball players in history, lead the U.S. team to gold in the 1984 Olympics.  Dr. Sheila Johnson became the first African American woman owner in the WNBA.  Yes, African American women are dominating on the court and the boardroom through the platform of sports.

GYMNASTICS: It’s easy to see why Dominique Dawes is known as “Awesome Dawson, vaulting into the record books with a string of awards and titles. She came home with a bronze medal from the 1992 Olympics and two years later became the first gymnast since 1969 to make a clean sweep of everything gold at the U.S. National Gymnastics Championship. he 2012 London Games introduced the world to Gabby Douglas, the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion.  At just 16 years of age, Douglas was voted AP Female Athlete of the Year and featured on a Corn Flakes box.  Now Simone Biles is a two time U.S. National All Around Champion, a two time World All Around Champion, a two time World Floor Champion, and the 2014 World Beam Champion —one of the most decorated gymnasts in U.S. history. Selah.

WINTER OLYMPICS: African American women are expanding their presence in nontraditional winter Olympics and setting world standards. Who can forget 2002 when Vonetta Flowers made Olympic history, becoming the first African-American to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics? Her fellow Olympians chose her to carry the U.S.A. flag in the closing ceremonies.  In 1986, Debi Thomas became the first black woman to win the U.S. figure skating singles championship; she was also the world champion that year, as well as a bronze medalist at the 1988 Winter Olympics. In 2014, the U.S. Women’s Bobsledding Team was the most diverse team in the sports history. In 2015, Elana Meyers Taylor and pusher Cherelle Garrett became the first women to win the first World Championship title in U.S. history.

To our delight, there is simply insufficient space to contain the swag of Sistas in sports – creating diversity in some sports, expanding legacy in others: Boxing (Queen Underwood,  Clarissa Shields, Tiara Brown, Franchon Crews, Tori Nelson, Raquel Miller), Crossfit (Amanda Goodman, Elisabeth Akinwale, Carla Nunes da Costa), Dance (Ebony Williams, Misty Copeland, Ingrid Silva), Fencing (Erin Smart, Nzinga Prescod, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Faizah Muhammad), Football (Kristine Elmore, Adrienne Smith), NASCAR (Nicole Lyons), Rugby (Victoria Folayan, Magali Harvey, Vanessa McGee, Phaidra Knight), Skateboarding (Samarria Brevard),  Soccer (Briana Scurry, Maya Hayes, Sydney Leroux, Bry McCarthy), Swimming (Maritza McClendon, Simone Manuel, Lia Neal),  Volleyball (Danielle Scott Arruda, Foluke Akinradewo, Kari Miller, Destinee Hooker)…and the transformation continues!  #SistaSwag #SwagOn

Copyright © 2015 @SistasSportsSwag All Rights Reserved.

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New Twitter Lists!: Yoga, Dance – including Zumba, Nutrition – Vegan, and Nutrition – Gluten Free

It’s happened again…

Some of our twitter lists have outgrown themselves, making it difficult for you to find productive and informative resources to make you healthy, wealthy, better connected and in your best #SistaSwag form.

So, we are reorganizing our resources!

Our “Zumba, Dance, Yoga” twitter list is now “Yoga” and “Dance – including Zumba.” Our “Nutrition” twitter list has three new siblings: “Nutrition – Vegan”, “Nutrition – Vegetarian” and “Nutrition -Gluten Free.”  Here’s a quick intro:

“Yoga”, as more and more athletes discover the mental and physical benefits of yoga, here you will find both great yogis and great at-home twitter-based resources.

“Dance  – including Zumba” will allow you to keep up with your favorites like Misty Copeland, The Dance Theater of Harlem and all of the dancing dolls of “Bring It!” in one place.  If you don’t think dancers have some moves to improve your beast-mode…well, check out our Sistas!

“Nutrition – Vegan” aims to focus twitter- based resources for those hungry for great, animal-free meals with flavor, seasoning and sass!

“Nutrition – Vegetarian” features twitter-based resources for vegetarians, those who challenge themselves on “Meatless Mondays” and awesome nutribullet smoothie recipes!

“Nutrition – glutenfree” highlights twitter-based sources for those who are curious about how a gluten-free diet impacts athletic performance as well as those challenged with inflammation, allergies, and celiac disease as a result of gluten. For many, gluten -free meals include, fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, potatoes and more, excluding wheat, rye, barley and the like.

The more we learn – from our coaches, trainers, other athletes, each other and you – we want to share with you.  Our constant aim is to share the best strength, style and substance to reveal and reflect the best of the reality of Sistas in sports.  Send us your to have them added to these and any of our twitter lists. Remember, you can also subscribe to any of our twitter lists – enjoy!

Copyright © 2015 @SistasSportsSwag All Rights Reserved.

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Women’s Boxing… worth a try?

Excited about the growth of #womensboxing – for exercise and competition!

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NEW! #GiveBack #BeyondSports Twitter List

#GiveBack #BeyondSports Twitter List

Sometimes 140 characters are not enough to celebrate the GREAT IMPACT our Sistas in sports are making in the world with their ACTS OF KINDNESS BEYOND SPORTS. Those who have followed our @SistasSprtsSwag on twitter have seen and shared our tweets on basketball camps hosted by TAMIKA CATCHINGS, track camps hosted by CARMELITA JETER, volleyball camps hosted by DESTINEE HOOKER and others. You’ve seen our tweets sharing ideas from #track’s DEE DEE TROTTER working to bring awareness to our young boys last summer with @helprochester; #boxing’s RAQUEL MILLER and her sister creating “Ladies in Power” to mentor young women; #track’s KELLIE WELLS fundraising with @MESABoulder; #boxing’s TIARA BROWN working with @DCDPR to teach kids boxing skills over the summer; and #track and #bobsledding’s LOLO JONES shoe give aways with her foundation. Sistas in sports are finding CREATIVE WAYS to inspire healthy lifestyles, leadership and goal-setting skills, confidence and compassion and support for others!

The efforts of our Sistas in sports are making tremendous, even life-changing, differences in communities. For the last several weeks, we’ve bounced around ideas on how to use @SistasSprtsSwag to motivate, inspire and connect others to multiply your efforts and impact many more. Your remarkable work may not always make annual award shows, but every day you are ERASING THE NEGATIVE stereotypes WITH THE REALITY of Sistas in sports TRANSFORMING LIVES – – and the world needs to know more! So, starting October 5, 2014, look for our #GiveBack highlight on the groups and charities you work with that have twitter accounts.

But, you won’t have to wait until Sundays – yes, we are building a #GIVEBACK #BEYONDSPORTS twitter list! The twitter list will not only include your groups and charities but, as we learn of them, we will add partners who provide grants, scholarships, tickets and other resources to help you. SHARE YOUR POSTS with #GIVEBACK and #BEYONDSPORTS to join us. We hope you will find some great ideas and compassionate partners. As always, your ideas are welcomed!



Copyright © 2014 @SistasSportsSwag All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Basketball, Black Girls Rock, Black Women, Bobsled, Bobsleigh, Boxing, charities, Golf, NCAA, Olympics, social media, Sport, Sports, Sports Media, Taekwondo, Tennis, Track and Field, Uncategorized, Winter Sports, WNBA, Women, Women Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Auntie’s Back To School Prayer

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Has golf made the right decision for the wrong reasons?

CNN World Sport

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews should be admired for many reasons but not for finally asking its members to admit women after 260 years.

Seen as golf’s spiritual home, St Andrews is urging its 2,500 members to vote in favor of abolishing its men-only policy and a vote on the issue will be held in September.

Don’t misunderstand me. It’s certainly the right decision. By all means say, “Congratulations and welcome to the 21st century” but the announcement seems to be motivated by self-interest more than a sudden enlightenment of the men who run the club.

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It’s warming Up!

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