Eagle River, Wisconsin’s hometown girl, Natalie Decker, highest finishing female in history for the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, and Hope Solo, Olympic gold medalist and two time World Cup champion for U.S. Women’s Soccer team have joined together with five other professional female athletes to compete in a virtual race on the NASCAR HEAT 5 Indianapolis road course. Decker was invited by Init Esports to coach Hope Solo on the Indy road course for a one of a kind event to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion. Natalie Decker explains, “When I was paired up with Hope Solo to coach her on racing the Indy road course I was super excited for the opportunity. What made it even more special was that when I was a freshmen at Northland Pines High School my Sports Literature teacher, Mr. Olivotti, had our class read Hope Solo’s book, so I already had a connection with her.”
Natalie Decker is a graduate from Northland Pines High School where she received continual support while she was striving to make it to the NASCAR level in racing. “I wouldn’t be where I am today in my race career without the support of all the teachers and administration at Northland Pines School District. They provided me with an Individual Learning Plan so that I was able to continue my education with them while I was on the road racing. My teacher’s were amazing and provided me with their personal cell numbers so that I could reach out to them with any questions on my homework.” Decker stated.
Currently, Mr. Olivotti has his Sports Literature class reading Hope Solo’s book so the timing couldn’t be more perfect to tie in a former graduate of Northland Pines into his classroom. Mr. Olivotti explained, “ We need to continue to expand the reading material in the sports genre that highlights and brings women’s stories to the forefront. This is good for society and it helps me engage more students in my classroom. I think it is incredible that Natalie is working with Hope Solo in their efforts to continue to motivate female athletes in all sports and help to create more opportunities for them. It was also great as a teacher to have Natalie recall this segment of our class from several years ago and see how it is continuing to give her connection points to activities in her career.”
This fundraiser race titled Race Me will be streamed on Twitch January 9, 2021 from 1:00-4:00pm CST. The link to view this is www.twitch.tv/initesports. If you wish to donate, 100% of the proceeds will go to GirlUp.Org which will help their efforts to support programs that give adolescent girls an equal chance for education, health, social and economic opportunities. Girl Up has developed programs in leadership development to 75,000 girls, 4,000 clubs, 125 countries and 50 U.S states.