Award: Joan Birkland Leadership Award
Location/Affiliation: Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports
- Advocate for Equity in Girls Sports
- Driving Force behind Ruby Miller Scholarship
The Joan Birkland Leadership Award is named for one of our Sportswomen of Colorado founders. “Joanie” was a legendary amateur golf and tennis champion, she’s a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, and served as our executive director for 40 years.
Obviously, winning Joanie’s award for leadership is special and our 2020 winner has been leading for decades. She’s Mary Kvamme. Long-time high school volleyball coach at Arvada West, founding member of Colorado Coaches of Girls Sports, and the driving force behind fundraising efforts for the Ruby Miller Scholarship through the Ruby Miller Golf Tournament. This amazing scholarship helps graduating seniors who are planning a career in coaching, physical education, or sports medicine. Funds from the tournament are what keep it going and Mary coordinates all of it.
Back in the day, Mary led the push to start the Girls All-State Games and throughout the years she’s been a constant voice for equality and equity for girls and women in sports. Mary Kvamme’s leadership has made a huge impact on hundreds of athletic careers and lives. We thank her for that.