Photo by Robert Beck
Photo by Robert Beck

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) announced today a two-year renewal of its 30-year partnership with Honda for the Honda Sports Awards Program and the prestigious Honda Cup honoring the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Through the administration of the Honda Sports Awards program and the Honda Cup, the CWSA seeks to help elevate women’s collegiate sports on a national level by honoring outstanding achievement by NCAA women athletes who display not only superior athletic skills, but leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.

The partnership is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year promoting Honda as one of the longest running collegiate athletics sponsors in the market. What began as a small dinner at the NCAA Convention has grown over the past 30 years into a two-day event in Los Angeles, culminating in a hour long live televised broadcast honoring the Honda Cup winner and the “best of the best” in collegiate women’s athletics.

“We are thrilled to be entering a two-year contract which will take us to and past the 30th year of this amazing presenting partnership between the CWSA and American Honda Motors,” said Chris Voelz, Executive Director of the CWSA. “Honda is driven to make things better for women and for women in sport through its support for the 30th year of our 40 years of existence. For that and for our long term partnership we are most grateful for the difference Honda makes.”

“Honda stands behind the power of dreams to help female student-athletes gain the national recognition deserved for their hard work and dedication to sport and community,” stated Jeanne Lenti Ponsetto, CWSA Chair of the Board and Athletics Director at DePaul University. “Such a long-standing relationship between two driven entities is rare, especially in women’s athletics, and we commend and thank Honda for its commitment to the common goal of celebrating these impressive young women for the past 30 years.”

Since 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees over the course of the program. The signature award, the Honda Cup, is presented to the woman who demonstrates superior individual athletic achievement and embodies the ideals of team contribution, scholastic endeavor and school and community involvement.

A Honda Sports Award winner is recognized in 12 NCAA sports and automatically becomes a finalist for the prestigious Honda Cup. At the end of the collegiate athletics season, they participate in the live televised Honda Cup announcement, to be held on June 27, 2016, in Los Angeles, Calif., where the Top Three are selected before the live presentation of the Honda Cup.

In addition, Division II and III female student-athletes of the year, as well as an annual Honda Inspiration Award winner are selected and will be presented during the live awards show.

“Over the past 40 years, the Honda Award has grown into one of the most prestigious awards a student-athlete can receive,” said Steve Morikawa, vice president, Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility.  “The winners are examples of the great things that can happen in sports and in life when you follow your dreams.  Honda is proud to celebrate their accomplishments.”

Previous Honda Cup winners include Ann Meyers-Drysdale, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mia Hamm, Lisa Fernandez, Misty May-Treanor, Courtney Kupets, Dawn Staley, Maya Moore and Missy Franklin.