Strength In Unity

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Madelyn Yepez
  • Space Base Delta 2

National Girls & Women in Sports Day honors and celebrates the significance of female athletes in sports. Annually observed on the first Wednesday of February, this day commemorates the advancements made by girls and women in sports since its establishment in 1987.

Buckley Space Force Base is surrounded by copious sporting activities, to include rock & ice climbing, basketball, football, swimming, etc. If you name the sport, it can be played, skated, or tossed. But in honor of today, we are recognizing just a few of our incredible women leaders in sports here at Buckley.

2nd Lt. Teiona Fuson, 460th Comptroller Squadron deputy flight commander for the Financial Management and Analysis Office, exemplifies leadership both on and off duty. In her free time, she coaches the Delta Staff Agencies basketball team. As a female coach in a male dominant sport, Fuson is faced with adversity each and every day.

“I overcame the challenges by focusing on my goals, by working harder than I thought possible, and by confiding in my players who saw my potential” said Fuson, “I learned to celebrate our victories, to learn from our defeats, and to never, ever underestimate the power of perseverance.”

Fuson’s coaching environment seamlessly integrated teamwork, skill, and passion, causing the team to win last season’s championship game while also breaking barriers that were placed on her as a woman. Fuson is not alone in her passion for athletics; many other women athletes share their experiences.

TSgt. Amber Lowery-Jones, Airman Leadership School instructor from the 460th Force Support Squadron, played on the Mile High Blaze women’s football team.

While in high school, Lowery-Jones tried out for her school’s male-dominated football team. Shattered with disappointment, she recalls her coach telling her even if she made the team, he would never play her. Although Lowery-Jones had this experience, she didn’t let that diminish her passion for football.

“Challenges may come, but there is nothing you can’t push through,” remarked Lowery-Jones. “Stay focused, be coachable, and make a way for the next generation.”

With this mindset, she relentlessly pursued her career in football which led to her most proud moment in her journey.

“Most recently, seeing my wife, teammates, and coaches win it all in Canton, Ohio at the NFL Hall of Fame stadium was an amazing accomplishment,” mentioned Lowery-Jones.

Winning the 2022 Women’s Football Association Division II National Championship in Ohio is no small feat that Lowery-Jones took part in, showing her determination and passion for the sport. Linked by their shared passion, the importance of teamwork, resilience, and unity shines through the remarkable journeys of these exceptional women in sports.

Finally, 2nd Lt. Evelyn Lewis, 11th Space Warning Squadron mission commander, is another example of a woman who feels indebted to her sport Swimming, which she played at the Air Force Academy.

“Today means giving women more opportunities to play competitive sports which in turn gives us more lifelong opportunities,” explains Lewis. “I believe without it, I would not be the same person or have the same opportunities I have today.”

This day represents every young girl and every woman that has been overlooked or brushed off because of their gender. This day represents all the trials and challenges these women have to overcome on a daily basis. This day represents breaking those barriers and realizing that there is strength in unity.

“While title IX has given women equal sports rights at a collegiate level, there is still an overall lack of public interest in women’s sports,” remarked Lewis. “To improve recognition on all levels, consider making girls and women’s tournaments or games in conjunction or back-to-back with our male counterparts’ tournaments or games.”

In the face of prevailing stigmas and generalizations, these women defied expectations and emerged as a beacon of change. They shattered stereotypes throughout their journeys exemplifying resilience, determination, and the power of breaking barriers in sports.