The Mercyhurst University Athletics Department hosted dozens of young ladies on campus Saturday as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Female athletes buddy up with girls in grades K-8 at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center.?

The girls then spend the day in athletic activities at interactive stations run by athletes on the Mercyhurst women's sports teams.

They also received free admission to the 1 p.m. ice hockey game on campus and joined in a pre-game reception.?

It recognizes the progress of girls and women in sports and the benefits that sports and fitness can bring to the lives of all girls and women.

"[It's] a day just to honor women's inclusion in sports, how important it is to start young and include athleticism in every day activities," said Anna Warner, captain of the women's cross country team. "I'm actually an exercise science and sports medicine major, so it hits close to home. Some day, I hope to work with young women and promote self-worth."

This was one of more than 1,000 events across the country. It's organized by the Girl Scouts, the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports, the National Women's Law Center and the Women's Sports Foundation.