Elizabeth Haygood wins MIAA service award

Ms. Haygood has devoted her career to coaching, teaching, and cheering for ARHS athletes. Photo: Mary Custard

On Februrary 12, Elizabeth Haygood, a physical education and health teacher at ARHS, was awarded the Massachusetts Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award. She was honored at the Celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

Ms. Haygood started coaching at Amherst in 1981 and began teaching in 1998.

“This award is important because it recognizes the contributions of many women across the state who continue to encourage the lives of young girls and women in their sporting arenas,” she said. “Girls and women in sports do not often get the same opportunities as their male counterparts.”

She noted that attendance at female sporting events is lower and so is media exposure.

“It is important for women to know that there are people who will continue to encourage them. It goes a long way to help boost their self esteem,” said Ms. Haygood.

She was thrilled to be nominated for the honor by athletics office administrative assistant Pam White.

“I don’t teach or coach for the money. To have someone recognize my contributions is powerful,” she said. “The most important things you do are not those that are public, but the things you do when you don’t think someone is watching.”

Ms. Haygood said she is happy to know that someone else thought she was “doing a good job,” and took time to reward that work.