Chatham News

Penn-Trafford junior Chelsia Poole receives the Patience Blayden Spirit of Sport Award from Chatham University

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior PR Specialist
February 10, 2012

PITTSBURGH (February 10, 2012)… Today at Chatham University’s 17th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWISD) celebration, Penn-Trafford student Chelsia Poole received the Patience Blayden Spirit of Sport Award in the junior category. The award, which is presented to an area sophomore, junior, senior, and collegiate female athlete of distinction, is named in honor of a former Chatham athletic director who dedicated 34 years to achieving greater awareness and recognition of women’s collegiate athletics.

Each year, Chatham gives this award as a celebration of the accomplishments of regional female high school and college student athletes who make positive contributions in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the community. Andrew Stockey, WTAE-TV anchor and Action sports reporter, served as Master of Ceremonies, and sports reporter Lacee Collins, who covers the Pirates, Penguins, and high school football for ROOT SPORTS, gave the keynote address.

Ms. Poole plays several sports, including basketball, volleyball, cross country, and track – all while maintaining a 4.25 GPA. A high academic achiever, Ms. Poole is in National Honors Society and is on the high honor roll.

In addition to academic excellence, Poole is a determined athlete. As a sophomore, Ms. Poole was a state qualifier in the 800-meter run. And during her freshman year, she won the girls all-sports intramural award.

Not only is Ms. Poole active in athletics, she is also an active member of the community. She is heavily involved at her church – leading bible school, organizing events, and altar serving. Ms. Poole also devotes her time to the organization Students Against Drunk Driving, which provides peer-to-peer education, prevention, and activism dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, other drug use, risky and impaired driving, teen violence, and teen suicide.

She was recently accepted to attend a seminar at the United States Air Force Academy this summer. Overall, Ms. Poole is a dedicated student, athlete, and contributor to the community.

Other winners of the Patience Blayden Spirit of Sport Award include Francesca Ponziani, a Penn-Trafford sophomore who plays softball; Alexis M. Concordia, a Shady Side Academy senior who plays field hockey and lacrosse, in addition to being a member of the swim team; and Anna Albi, a Carnegie Mellon University sophomore who plays soccer.

Chatham also honored Lori Poe, who coaches cross-country, indoor track, and track and field at Chartiers Valley, with the Outstanding Coach Award. Winners are selected by an honorary committee.

NGWSD began in 1987 in commemoration of Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women’s sports. Hyman died of Marfan Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since that time, NGWSD has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit

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