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Spotlight in Sports: Southern Tier Off-Road Club

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In the wide world of sports, where male athletes still outnumber female athletes, it can be a challenge for women to earn the respect they deserve, but one local club is pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a strong female presence.

For years, the Southern Tier Off-Road Club (STORC) has been challenging the perception of a "male driven" world by having more female members then men. It's a combination of girl power meets horsepower.

"We are garage girls, and we get out and we get dirty," said Ann Woodward, President of STORC.

According to Ann, she is hoping to continue drawing more members (women or men) and branch out into other areas in the off-road world. 

Some members have already achieved a certain level of notoriety like Trisha Glezen, who has been featured on the History Channel's Truck Night in America as well as numerous Off-Road networks. Glezen said she would never have guessed that the decision to join STORC and buy a jeep would change her life 

"I never thought that by me going through little mud-holes would get me going across the country...it blows my mind," said Trisha Glezen.

But achieving stardom is not the only success story coming out of the Southern Tier Off-Road Club. For many members, the club is a chance to experience a "second family," and discover something knew about themselves.

 "I've learned to trust myself, and how to deal with my anxiety," said Shanon Eckler, STORC Media Officer. Eckler said her journey to the off-road club came as whim after she departed from her old car, a Kia Soul, and picked up a 2013 JKU Jeep Wrangler. A big decider for her to make good use of her vehicle, Eckler said, was to avoid the stigma of being a "mall crawler" (one who buys a sports package, and stays away from off-road trails), but mainly she just wanted to get dirty.

Other members like Shanon, just simply enjoy the outdoors, and could care less what the social norm for women could be. Outdoor Kate (yes, that's her name) said she is a firm believer for general equality, but if there was anyone out there that would challenge her beliefs, Outdoor Kate might bring them down a peg or two in order to protect her second family's values.

"This is a huge step for women in our area. To get into off-roading, meeting other women who, like myself; hunt, fish, hike, bike...we might make friends for a lifetime," said Outdoor Kate.

The Southern Tier Off-Road Club is not specifically for women. It's for anyone that wouldn't mind getting mud on their tires and trading paint with a few stumps. STORC President, Ann Woodward invites everyone to come out and join the herd as they travel the hillside together...men and women.

If you would like to see more of the Southern Tier Off-Road Club, they will be hosting a large off-road event called Ladies Day, June 2-3, 2018 at the Broome Tioga Sport Center, inviting women from all across the North East to join them in their adventures.