Spotlight: Courtnie Williamson & Beyond Our Game
by USA Field Hockey
In 2020, Courtnie Williamson became national powerhouse North Carolina Field Hockey’s first black captain. That same year, she founded the organization “Beyond our Game”, with the goal of establishing an inclusive and uplifting community.
Williamson grew up in the Philadelphia area and developed a passion for sports and the sense of camaraderie that came along with being a part of a team. When she first tried playing field hockey, she instantly fell in love, and knew she wanted to earn the opportunity to play in college. Her dream came true when she received an offer from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. What she didn’t realize was that she would soon become a three-time National Champion as well as the first Black captain in the history of the UNC Field Hockey program.
As Williamson held a leadership role on the team and advanced toward her Master of Business Administration, she recognized that she had the resources and platform to make a difference. She strongly believes that those who have attained positions of power have the opportunity and responsibility to create positive change. Therefore, she developed Beyond Our Game - an organization focused on empowering student-athletes of color and creating equity in athletics.
Williamson founded Beyond Our Game in 2020, amidst a time of racial division in the United States, with the goal of establishing an inclusive and uplifting community. Beyond Our Game quickly grew, welcoming nearly 200 Division I student-athletes of color to their platform. Williamson provided resources to help student-athletes enhance their resumes, ace interviews and make a seamless transition into the workforce. Beyond Our Game also educates partner companies on the valuable skills student-athletes bring to the workforce and benefits of incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion.
Since its inception, Beyond Our Game has prioritized supporting underrepresented communities and lowering the barriers to entry in athletics. Recently, they have made significant efforts to achieve this aspect of their mission through hosting diversity sports clinics. Beyond Our Game are gearing up to hold their largest clinic yet, with more than 100 youth athletes of color to continue growing the game!
Who: 3rd - 8th grade girls of color interested in learning field hockey and soccer
When: Sunday, April 16, 2023 | 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
Where: UNC-Chapel Hill Athletic Facilities
Beyond Our Game is hosting a free clinic, in partnership with Pinto Futbol Foundation, for girls of color in third to eight grades interested in trying field hockey and soccer! The campers will participate in an immersive, all-day experience which includes a field hockey session, soccer session, provided lunch, tour of both the UNC Field Hockey and Soccer facilities, questions and answers with current and former professionals and collegiate athletes, and an autograph signing session. Each camper will also receive a surprise gift bag with athletic gear provided by Adidas and Longstreth Field Hockey so they may continue playing both sports for years to come! For more information, check out BeyondOurGame.Org
During Black History Month, USA Field Hockey is highlighting organizations that contribute to increasing equity, diversity and inclusion for field hockey in the United States.