DSHA athletes weigh in on NCAA disparity

It was the talk of the tournament.

On the biggest of stages, the NCAA women's basketball players' weight room paled in comparison to that of their male counterparts.

The images sparked outrage online and prompted the NCAA to apologize and make some additions.

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At Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, there was disappointment. 

"It was frustrating to see the actual pictures," said Brian Calhoun, DHSA's Director of Fitness and Performance. "I mean, I think the pictures probably didn't do it justice for how bad it was."

"They've worked just the same amount as men and they're in the exact same tournament," said Ashley Jones, DHSA sophomore. "It was just very unfair."

"It's kind of upsetting that I wasn't surprised because we are so used to being looked down upon," said Lizzy Zeidler, DHSA junior.

At this all-girls school, the Sarah M. Hegarty Fitness Center has just about everything.

"We've got about 4,000 square feet in the main room," said Calhoun. "We also have an additional 500 square feet in the multi-purpose room. We have 10 yards of field turf right where we're standing, 25 pieces of cardio equipment, 9 half racks, dumbbells, kettlebells."

It's a welcomed sight for these female athletes, who have dreams of competing in college one day.

"I honestly think it's pretty cool that we have all this stuff," said Zeidler. "There are girls using every ounce of this fitness center and I think it just defies all the social standards and all the gender norms."

Led by Brian Calhoun, the school's Director of Fitness and Performance, and a former Wisconsin and NFL running back, these Dashers are learning from the best of the best.

They're also setting an example for others.

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"We're one of a very small population that has a fitness center, weight room type like this," said Calhoun. "I think it's really huge just to give them confidence, and to be able to go into a college weight room or a rec center and be able to understand what's going on."

With all these resources at their disposal, confidence comes easily.

"I like using the dumbbells because it makes me feel super powerful," said Zeidler.

And these athletes are well prepared for their futures.

"At (Divine Savior Holy Angels), we have so many opportunities and so many tools to get better with performance," said Jones. "The staff has been so helpful to make sure we can get onto the next level and just compared to the NCAA, this is like something I would expect for the NCAA."

Moving forward, hopefully, permanent change will follow.