At Democracy of Sweat we're always on the lookout for athletes that embody the true spirit of sport. Last week we were introduced to Cate Calissie and we were completely blown away. Cate has always been an outstanding athlete. She's spent years being a standout soccer player, earning her All-State/All-Valley honors. This Fall, Cate decided to step out of her comfort zone and become the first female football player at Central Catholic High School in Wheeling, WV.
The transition from the soccer field to the football field was not an easy one. Cate was nervous about her abilities and was unsure how her teammates would accept her. But, she drew upon the values of faith and hard work that her parents have instilled upon her and earned a spot as the team's placekicker. As the season got underway Calissie's efforts began to translate into success.
Along with the success came lots of attention and publicity. The notoriety made Cate uncomfortable. She didn't want to be singled out. She wanted to keep the focus on the team. Then, two games into the season, Cate sustained a knee injury that will keep her on the sidelines for the rest of the year.
Instead of getting down about her situation, Cate decided to refocus her energy and use her publicity for something positive. Cate decided to design and sell t-shirts with the message "Play like a Girl." All of the proceeds from the shirts are donated to the Lee Ann Foundation, a local charity that supports those affected by cancer.
Thanks to her determination, Calissie's fundraiser has been a success. As for Cate, she's happy to be a role-model. She hopes young girls will learn from her to "follow their dreams and realize there is NOTHING you can't do." To learn more about Cate's charity please visit leeannfoundation.com.