Highly decorated track athletes Andraya Yearwood of Cromwell High School and Terry Miller of Bloomfield High School have been selected co-recipients of the 2019 Bob Casey Courage Award by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance.
Both juniors, Yearwood and Miller are transgender athletes in girls track who have won individual Connecticut state track championships in multiple sprint events. Miller, who previously attended Hartford’s Bulkeley High School, recently won New England indoor track championships in the 55 and 300 meters.
Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference rules allow high school athletes to compete based on their gender identity, rules supported by Connecticut state law.
The teenage girls have publicly and courageously championed the rights of transgender high school athletes. Yearwood and Miller continue to face criticism from opponents who have questioned the fairness of their inclusion in girls track events. Opposition has ranged from anonymous digital comments and social media posts from across the country to a petition to ban Yearwood and Miller from currently competing in girls track. The girls have brought national attention in support of all high school athletes’ right to respect and inclusion, including an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Miller and Yearwood will be honored at the 78th Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3 p.m. at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
Gold Key Award recipients for 2019 are former college and pro basketball standouts John Bagley and Chris Smith, longtime NFL coach and Super Bowl champion Chris Palmer, St. Thomas More basketball coach Jere Quinn and ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen.
The Gold Key Dinner was inaugurated in 1940, with baseball legend Connie Mack and golf superstar Bobby Jones among the initial recipients. The roster of honorees since then reads like a Who’s Who of Connecticut sports – Julius Boros, Willie Pep, Andy Robustelli, Lindy Remigino, Floyd Little, Joan Joyce, Carmen Cozza, Otto Graham, Calvin Murphy, Joe Morrone, Gordie Howe, Bill Rodgers, Geno Auriemma, Rebecca Lobo, Brian Leetch, Kristine Lilly, Marlon Starling and Dwight Freeney are just a few of the past Gold Key winners. A complete list is available at www.ctsportswriters.com.
Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner are $75 apiece, and may be reserved by contacting CSWA President Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-394-5091.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Bo Kolinsky Journalism Scholarship, named after a longtime Hartford Courant sportswriter and past CSWA president who died unexpectedly in 2003.
Photo caption: Cromwell High's Andraya Yearwood, left, and Bloomfield High's Terry Miller. Photo by Ngozi Nnaji