Executive Director Chris Voelz of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda announced today that the Class of 2019 Honda Cup Winner, Rachel Garcia of UCLA, will represent the CWSA in the 131st Rose Parade® presented by Honda on January 1, 2020 by riding Honda’s “Our Hope for the Future” float. The float kicks off the 2020 Rose Parade and celebrates the optimism created by the spirit and vitality of children.
“We are thrilled to have the Collegiate Women Sports Awards represented on the Honda float in the Rose Parade,” stated Voelz. “It is a first and we are thrilled that our latest Honda Cup winner, Rachel Garcia, a softball student-athlete from UCLA, will represent us on this biggest of stages. Honda has been our partner for the past 34 years and its belief in the Power of Dreams reinforces our mission to identify and celebrate the greatest female collegiate athletes in the nation who are living out their hopes and dreams through the world of sport."
Garcia is an example of where childhood dreams can lead after she won the Honda Cup in June, recognizing her as the top collegiate female student-athlete in the country. Garcia is a two-time Honda Sport Award winner for Softball and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 Women’s College World Series after leading the Bruins to the program’s 13th National Championship. She won back-to-back USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honors and is a two-time NFCA First-Team All-American.
Currently, she is a member of the U.S. Softball National team and was recently named to Team USA softball for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Honda’s “Our Hope for the Future” float will feature six children pursuing their dreams through a variety of activities such as medicine, music, scientific research, ocean exploration, art and is topped by a young astronaut literally reaching for the starts. It will feature roughly 30,000 flowers along with organic materials like onion seed, lentils and ground rice. This is the first time a Honda Cup winner has ever appeared in the Rose Parade.
"I speak for all of us on the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Board of Directors when I say it is a distinct privilege to be included on the Honda Rose Parade float and to have a national spotlight put on the 2019 Honda Cup Winner, Rachel Garcia, and all she represents as a student athlete chasing and fulfilling her dreams,” stated Jeanne Lenti Ponsetto, CWSA Chair of the Board.
Joining Garcia on the float will be Ariana Nicole Benson, Jessika Adjoa Agyepong, Maati McKinney, and Naomi Steplight of Spelman College who comprise the winning team of the 2019 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, a year-long academic quiz competition featuring teams from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Honda is a proud supporter of both the CWSA and the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 44 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.4 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.