Owsiany, Knight to be Honored at WSF Gala

Owsiany, Knight to be Honored at WSF Gala

Deven Owsiany and Phaidra Knight will be honored at the Women's Sports Foundation's 32nd Annual Salute to Athletes

 

Penn State senior and USA Women’s 7s Eagle Deven Owsiany will be honored at the 32nd Annual Salute to Women in Sports, hosted by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) in New York City on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

 

WSF first noticed Owsiany at the CRC 7s this June. (Steve Mitchell photo)
Owsiany earned her first 7s caps this February in Las Vegas. (Dobson Images)

Every year, the WSF recognizes the country’s best athletic performances, and honors those players at a massive gala and awards dinner. The guest list is impressive and highlighted by Olympic medalists and world champions like Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles and Billy Jean King (tennis); Lauren Cheney and Abby Wombach (soccer); Mary Ellen Clark (diving); Donna De Varona (swimming); Michelle Kwan (figure skating); Laila Ali (undefeated world champion boxer); Anika Sorenstam (golf); Cat Osterman (softball); and Angela Ruggiero (ice hockey). Three-time Rugby World Cup Eagle Phaidra Knight will also be marching in the athlete’s salute.

 

Owsiany first caught the WSF’s attention during the USA Seven’s Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia this past June. Stacy Holand, Associate Director of Athlete Services, was impressed that the 22-year-old was a fixture on the national 7s team. Holand introduced herself and encouraged Owsiany to look into the WSF’s services, one of which includes providing grants to female athletes so they can attend national player camps and tournaments.

 

Holand did her homework on Owsiany, learned that the Royersford, PA, resident has enjoyed two DI college national championships, where she was named MVP in 2010; is a two-time All American; and has 10 international caps playing for the 7s Eagles in Las Vegas and Hong Kong, and will add some more at the Dubai 7s later this year. That was all Holand needed to invite Owsiany to athletes’ salute.

 

“I’m really stoked about it,” Owsiany said. “I got the invitation and had no idea I was going to be recognized at a banquet, which is really cool. They fly you out and put you up at a hotel all for free. They even make sure that you have your beauty appointment confirmed – they aren’t kidding around!

“It’s going to be a really nice event with great people and speakers,” Owsiany continued. “It’ll be nice to meet a lot of professionals who competed in the Olympics. Playing for the 7s team in the Olympics is a goal of mine, and hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk to those athletes to see how their experiences went.”

 

The WSF has arranged a wonderful two-day event that really celebrates the athletes. They’ll spend time at the 9/11 Memorial before heading to Chelsea Piers’ Sunset Terrace for the welcome dinner and casino night. There’s a grand march and red carpet before the awards dinner, which will be held at Cipriani ballroom, and the night will conclude with a VIP after-party at Beekman’s Beach Club in South Street Seaport.

 

It will be a nice change of pace for Owsiany, who is currently working toward her BS in health policy administration during a co-op in Philadelphia. 

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