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ETHS student named ‘female youth athlete of the year’

Olivia Ohlson is great at sports. She plays golf, basketball and softball for Evanston Township High School.

But there’s something else that makes this rising sophomore special besides her athletic ability.

It’s what she does with it to help others, and that’s the biggest reason why Ohlson was given an honorary ESPY award by ESPN Chicago this week.

ESPY’s, by the way, are basically the Academy Awards or Emmy Awards of sports, presented by the sports cablecasting empire, primarily to professional, college and Olympic athletes.

According to a family member’s Facebook post, ESPN affiliates in five cities are presenting honorary ESPY’s to female athletes, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, legislation that opened up opportunities in sports long denied to women.

Besides being an athlete herself, Olivia is on the Youth Advisory Board of an Evanston-based organization named Girls Play Sports, a group that fosters leadership and self-confidence through athletics.

The young sports and community activist has also established her own organization, Diversify Golf, whose goal, according to Olivia, is to “get more girls and kids of color involved and less intimidated” in playing golf.

The founder of Girls Play Sports, ETHS Director of Athletics Chris Livatino, nominated Olivia for the ESPY, which was presented by both ESPN 1000 Radio and Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.

In a Facebook post, Olivia said she feels “humbled and honored” by the award.

There’s a chance, although it’s not a lock, that video of Olivia, or at least her name, will be included in the national ESPY Awards telecast at 7 pm July 20 on ABC.

But if she’s not, or even if she is, you can also find her on the golf course, basketball court or softball field, enjoying the competition, and figuring out ways to help others grow personally through sports.

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