ALBANY, N.Y.; – The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), which was founded in 1974 by sports icon and social justice pioneer Billie Jean King, will serve as the official charity partner of the Aurora Games, the inaugural all-women’s sports and entertainment festival, which will take place August 20-25 at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.
WSF is dedicated to ensuring all girls and women have equal access to sports and physical activity, and the tremendous life-long benefits they provide. Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight and 11-time world record holder and para athlete Amy Palmiero-Winters, both of whom are WSF Athlete Ambassadors, will have roles in the festival. Further, under the agreement naming the Foundation the exclusive nonprofit charity of the Aurora Games, WSF-affiliated community programs serving local girls also will participate in the festivities.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Women’s Sports Foundation which is so vital to the advancement of girls’ and women’s sports,” said Aurora Games Executive Producer Jerry Solomon. “From its founding in 1974 WSF has been a leader in the effort to empower girls and women through sports. The women who will be competing in the Aurora Games have benefited from the women who went before, and in turn, further blaze the trail for the next generation of girls who will follow.”
The Aurora Games today also announced the appointment of WSF CEO Dr. Deborah Antoine to its Athlete Advisory Board, which is chaired by Donna de Varona, winner of two gold medals at the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo, and WSF’s first president. Members of this advisory board also include two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan; tennis legends Chris Evert and Monica Seles; and seven-time Olympic gymnastics medalist Shannon Miller.
“All of us here at the Women’s Sports Foundation are excited for the inaugural Aurora Games Festival, a thrilling new event for showcasing the power and skills of elite female athletes, and inspiring young girls to become both fans and participants,” Antoine said. “Our Foundation knows the importance of role models for the next generation – to reach, teach and inspire – and we are proud to collaborate with the Aurora team on this global competition that will lift more women in sports into the public eye.”
Approximately 150 world-class athletes, including Olympic medalists and national champions from around the globe, are set to compete for Team Americas versus Team World in the Aurora Games. The event will feature competition in women’s tennis, gymnastics, basketball, figure skating, ice hockey and beach volleyball, and a tennis table exhibition.
The athletes will compete for the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Trophy, the official trophy of the Aurora Games. Didrikson Zaharias was named the “Greatest Female Athlete of the First Half of the 20th Century” by the Associated Press for her achievements in multiple sports, including golf, basketball, baseball and track and field.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee and five-team Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci will serve as honorary team captains. Joyner-Kersee, an American track and field icon, will lead the athletes representing Team Americas. Comaneci, the legendary Romanian gymnast, will guide those competing for Team World.
WSF founder Billie Jean King, Didrikson Zaharias, Joyner-Kersee, Comaneci, Evert and de Varona have each been enshrined in the Women’s Sports Foundation International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Individual session tickets for the Aurora Games are on-sale now at www.Ticketmaster.com. Tickets range in price from $15 to $129 and include access to the Aurora Games FanZone featuring music, athlete meet and greets, food and entertainment. Children may qualify for half-price tickets based on seating selection.
Group sales can be reserved by contacting Carrie Berger at (617) 688-6128.
For sponsorship information, contact Karen Scott Happer at [email protected].
The official hotel of the Aurora Games is Hilton Albany, located approximately .2 miles from the Times Union Center at 40 Lodge Street in downtown Albany. Aurora Games guests can save on overnight stays by using code 5AGCB when securing reservations by phone at 1-866-691-1183 or online at https://bit.ly/2U2n1mC.
ABOUT WOMEN’S SPORTS FOUNDATION
The Women’s Sports Foundation is a powerful voice, catalyst and convener dedicated to ensuring all girls and women have equal access to sports and physical activity and the tremendous life-long benefits they provide. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we seek to strengthen and expand opportunities for all girls and women to participate in all sports at all levels through research, advocacy, community impact and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. The Women’s Sports Foundation has relationships with more than 1,000 of the world’s elite female athletes and has positively shaped the lives of more than 3 million youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes. To learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, please visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org, or follow us at @WomensSportsFdn on Twitter, @womenssportsfoundation on Instagram and at www.facebook.com/WomensSportsFoundation.
ABOUT THE AURORA GAMES
Aurora Games Festival, LLC owns and operates the Aurora Games and holds all of the rights and intellectual property associated with the Games. The Aurora Games were conceived of and created by Jerry Solomon. Mr. Solomon has been one of America’s top sports marketing executives for more than 30 years. The Aurora Games, named in honor of the Roman goddess of the dawn, will be held every two years beginning with the inaugural edition at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY, August 20-25, 2019. Designed to celebrate the best in women’s sports, entertainment and culture, the Aurora Games will welcome all-star athletes, as well as coaches and trainers, representing more than 15 countries to downtown Albany to compete in an international competition of teams comprised of the Americas vs. the World. The six-day event will include team and individual competitions in basketball, tennis, figure skating, gymnastics, ice hockey and beach volleyball. Fans will also enjoy musical performances, food tastings, sports clinics, autograph sessions and seminars in the Aurora Games Fan Zone at the Albany Capital Center. For up-to-date information about the Aurora Games, visit AuroraGamesFestival.com or follow the Games on Twitter @AuroraGamesFest.