NEW YORK, N.Y., OCTOBER 14, 2010 – On Tuesday evening, at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City, hall of fame golfer Annika presented the inaugural ANNIKA Inspiration Award at the Women’s Sports Foundation annual salute. The inaugural award went to Caitlin Baker, a 16-year old competitive swimmer from Norman, Okla. who started an outreach program, CAITLINB, to promote swimming, sports participation and healthy lifestyles to Native American Youth.
The ANNIKA Inspiration Award honors a deserving individual girl who demonstrates athleticism, dedication, leadership and the ability to inspire others.
“I am proud that this award can recognize an inspirational young woman who is sharing her passion,” said Annika. “Caitlin is the ideal first recipient. She saw a need and is doing something about it – serving as a role model to so many of her peers.”
Caitlin, a swimmer since the age of 8, turned to competitive swimming at age 11. A member of the Muscogee Creek Tribe, she participated in the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) at the age of 13. She was disappointed to find that there were no other swimmers from the state of Oklahoma competing. Soon after the games, Caitlin broke her arm, had two surgeries and had to stay out of the pool for seven months. Caitlin’s forced break from swimming combined with her experience at the NAIG led to the creation of CAITLINB – which stands for Competitive American Indians Turning Lifestyles into New Beginnings.