On Wednesdays throughout 2021, USA Field Hockey will highlight an active club from one of the nine regions around the United States to shine a spotlight on what makes Member Clubs unique. From coast-to-coast, clubs big and small will be featured to increase awareness of field hockey across the country, and administrators and coaches will have the chance to talk about initiatives, training and favorite parts of the game. This week from Region 6 is Sistas with Stix.
Club Name: Sistas With Stix
History: Sistas With Stix (SWS) was founded in 2020 in South Jersey by Imani Ruffin. With the tag line “dedicated to you”, their focus is on the development of each athlete, giving them the actionable tools right away to be successful. SWS prides themselves in teaching their athletes to be mentally strong, instantly responding in a positive way to adversity and missteps.
SWS is dedicated to the growth of all athletes and loves seeing them motivated to become better on the field. In their short tenure as a club program, they’ve seen strides in the right direction in terms of athlete dedication as many practice even when there isn’t a scheduled session.
The club name Sistas With Stix came from Ruffin’s mother who envisioned that she and her sister would operate their own field hockey program.
Accolades/Awards: SWS is currently ranked tied for 101st in the U-16 Girls division of the USA Field Hockey National Club Rankings. They are unranked in the U-14 Girls and U-19 Girls divisions.
Below is a list of recent finishes:
- 2021 U-16 Girls National Indoor Tournament
- Pool N, second
- 2021 U-16 Girls Regional Club Championship, Region 4/6
Ruffin on Club Life:
Ruffin prides SWS on athlete development and inclusion. The club is part of Growing the Greatest Game (GGG), a national initiative aimed at measurably growing the game through diversity and inclusion, particularly in black and brown communities. GGG offers inclusion training to clubs across the country that touch on how to make the environment more inclusive, so everyone feels like they belong.
During the pandemic, SWS never stopped training. When things shut down, they started training virtually to be ready once things opened again. During this time, they also introduced sports psychology, yoga and continued skill training.
SWS has athletes that plan to attend and play in college and has some athletes who have already been recruited to play at some schools like Kenyon College, Lock Haven University and Shippensburg University.
Ruffin’s favorite thing about being part of the USA Field Hockey Family is the competition and atmosphere. She comments that it is electric and that her athletes and parents had a wonderful time at the National Indoor Tournament.