On June 28 members of the City Council, led by Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), invited the New York Sharks to their chambers at City Hall and issued a proclamation declaring that day in "herstory" as New York Sharks Day.
The proclamation, signed by 20 Council members, included the 15-member Women's Caucus and Queens Council members Dennis Gallagher (R-Glendale) and Leroy Comrie Jr. (D-St. Albans). It cited such achievements as the New York Sharks setting a record in the Independent Women's Football League for winning every season game since its inception in 2002 and running a camp to educate young girls in football and other team sports.
Player Vivian Alberty of Flushing, who is now training for the Police Department, had never been to City Hall.
"It didn't really hit me until we were called up to the front," she said. "When the proclamation was read, I experienced a breathtaking excitement of chills going up and down my spine. It made me feel that women's football was taking another step up."
The event began with Gallagher, who took an interest in the team while attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a restaurant in Woodhaven with members.
He said the team sounded like something Katz would like to get involved with and the councilwoman agreed to perform the coin toss at one of the games. Then she decided to arrange for the presentation to be held before one of the Council sessions.
Sharks General Manager Crystal Turpin, who runs the Sharon Pascale mini-camp for kids, felt a personal achievement.
"It made me realize that you can believe that someone does care and that everything I have worked for has not gone in vain," she said. "During the last five minutes of the event all of my efforts passed in front of me. It was incredibly big. I mattered. Cameras, lights and the recognition of City Hall."
New York Sharks owner, 45-year old Andra Douglas, who plays both back-up quarterback and kicker, was thrilled to have the team honored at City Hall.
"We have all put so much effort into this amazing team of women who not only do not get paid but have to fork over $1,000 just to play," she said. "That really shows passion."
On July 10 the Sharks defeated the Tampa Bay Terminators, 29-7, after defeating the Chicago Force, 40-0, and earned the IWFL Eastern Conference Division title. The NY Sharks are the only team in the IWFL to have won the division title all three seasons.
The championship game is scheduled Saturday in Sacramento, Calif. with the Sharks again going up against last year's rival, the Sacramento Sirens, as they look to take home the trophy. For further information visit the Web site of nysharksfo
©2004 Community News Group
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