Rambition: Female athletes at CSU band together

Sara Petersilie

Female athletes at Colorado State University have found a way to make themselves stronger in more ways than one through Rambition: a combination of community engagement, educational opportunities and social and professional networking.

Shalini Shanker, CSU’s associate athletic director for compliance, and Tracy Ljone, the University’s assistant strength and conditioning coach, are the founders of Rambition. They hoped to create a connection between all the female collegiate athletes.


“I think especially with females, we’re kind of our best allies and our best network, and we a lot of times don’t take advantage of that,” Ljone said.

Rambition is not only a support group, it is a way for female athletes to interact outside their individual sports. Sanne Holland, track and cross country runner and sophomore English major at CSU, uses Rambition for networking.

“I think the coolest part of it is just getting out there and meeting other athletes, because with our schedules it’s just school, athletics, competition,” Holland said. “I mean, we don’t have a lot of time to do other things and we’re always surrounded by our sport so I really only know the cross country and track girls.”

Holland finds Rambition useful in other aspects as well. She takes advantage of the community service aspect and was involved in Rambition’s Lupus Awareness Walk last spring. Rambition plans to host the event again this year, as well as raise awareness for Breast Cancer this fall.

“Rambition gives more options and more opportunities and more ideas,” Holland said.

Rambition also gives athletes access to helpful seminars, including a body awareness seminar last year and a positive relationship seminar that will occur this year.

“Relationships with your friends, your sister [and] your boyfriend obviously affect your life and affect athletics and academics and everything so we’re trying to bring in other things, not just athletics,” Ljone said.

Shanker said she knows that women have power when they work together and hopes Rambition gives these female athletes a chance to see that.

“We want our female athletes to be strong and successful and make it in a man’s world,” Shanker said. “I want the athletes to not lose who they are and grow in the community and as leaders.”

Collegian Reporter Sara Petersilie can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @SEPetersilie.