LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Rise Up Sports Media recognized women sports history-makers and the girls they've inspired in their first awards ceremony on Wednesday.
Student-athletes from across the Bluegrass were celebrated for accomplishments in their respective sports and within their communities.
One student honored was Khloe Lamb, a member of the dance team at Hopkins County Central. When a tornado destroyed her home and everything her family-owned, she still decided to perform for her team's state championship. Lamb had shoes and equipment from her competition just to participate.
"I go to practice and to dance to escape from everything, and I really needed a distraction after losing everything," said Lamb.
She was one of three athletes to win the Valerie Still "STILL I RISE" award, which acknowledges athletic achievement, scholastic excellence, and community involvement. The award winner is recognized as the top female athlete and considered the highest award honor by Rise Up Sports Media.
Valerie Still, former professional basketball player and all-time point scorer for University of Kentucky basketball, was in attendance to give out the award.
"The importance of representation as a young girl, seeing what I'm doing is it'll click. You'll be like 'oh she can do it from, New Jersey," said Still.
Still is one of the many athletes that have paved the way for women in athletics. She was amongst the second cohort of female athletes to receive college scholarships for athletics.
"That was something that was within me that was gonna happen and so from the different women around or whoever I got it-it was gonna come," said Still.
Tonia Witt, Founder of Rise of Media, invited Still to be a part of the ceremony because she says representation is one of the main reasons she wanted to host the awards ceremony. Even though Title IX has created progress, she says there is still more work to be done.
"The men are always in the spotlight more, they're always getting more exposure, so I just feel like I wanted it to be a platform to give women the exposure that they deserve," said Witt.
Still continues to inspire young women through mentorship, connections and is even working on a book about her ancestor's connection to the Underground Railroad.