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Josie Aslakson, Sophomore Film Major

Josie Aslakson

You were among the female athletes featured in the “Play Like a Girl” advertising campaign this year designed to empower girls through participation in sports. How did you get involved?

I’m on the Movin’ Mavs. We were scrimmaging one day, and we found out that advertising people were wanting to come scope out our practice and maybe talk to one of us. Doug Garner, our athletic director, was talking to one of the advertising people when I pushed by them. He said, “Here’s one of our girls, you can talk to her." I guessed they liked what I said.

Did they explain what “Play Like a Girl” was about?

Yes, they explained that it was a nonprofit promoting women and girls having an active lifestyle. They said they wanted all types of athletes, including a girl playing wheelchair basketball, to have a well-rounded ad.

When did you see it put together?

I actually saw it after other people had. I kept getting text messages saying, “You’re famous.” I was like, what? Our team’s Facebook page had put it up, so that’s when I first saw it.

What’s the message of the ad?

There are a lot of things that can keep you from playing sports even if it’s something you really want to do. Maybe you’re embarrassed about how you run. All the girls in the ad have been through an array of things, but they’re not letting that keep them from an active lifestyle.

What kind of feedback have you gotten?

People really love it. I’ve gotten some people who say it motivated them. That’s great that it actually does what it’s supposed to do. One guy here on campus told me he showed it to his daughter, who lacked confidence, and it helped her.

It sounds like the ad’s message is really resonating, inspiring girls to get active in sports. Is that a message you relate to?

Wheelchair basketball transformed me. Before, I wouldn’t have had the nerves to even do this interview. I was so shy. It’s a good message. It’s a message about girls in sports. It’s not necessarily about adaptive sports. It’s about gaining confidence from competing.

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