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Columbia Players Create FAST to Support Female Athletes
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Walking into networking events and seeing rooms largely filled with men was a bit intimidating and dispiriting to Paulina Ferrari.

Columbia Tennis Players are Members of FAST
© Contributed Photo

The Columbia University sophomore was hoping to find more women to speak with and get advice about her future. Ferrari expressed her frustration to her teammate, Caitie Sullivan, and they both wondered if other female athletes at Columbia felt the same way.

They began asking around, and realized many did.

The result was FAST - Female Athletes Standing Together. Established in February, the organization is dedicated to supporting, uniting and empowering female athletes on Columbia’s campus.

“The primary goal is to give female student-athletes the best college experience they can possibly have,” said Sullivan, a freshman from Norfolk, Virginia. “There is no doubt it’s a stressful culture, and it’s amplified being a female student-athlete and having to balance school and sports. FAST can be a resource to help make that easier to handle.”

FAST organized its first meeting simply through word of mouth and was greeted by an impressive turnout. In less than two months, the organization already has 53 members from 11 varsity sports on campus, including seven of the 13 players on the women’s tennis team.

“I was just overwhelmed by how many girls were excited about this and wanted to hop on board immediately,” said Ferrari, a former five-star recruit from La Jolla, California. “I think that kind of emphasizes the need there was for a committee like this. It seems like so many girls had been wanting something like this for so long.”

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