Soccer star Mia Hamm received the Residence Inn by Marriott 2014 Resident Mom of the Year award in Manhattan. The award came with a check for $10,000 to the Mia Hamm Foundation, which supports youth soccer organizations.
Diane Mayer (left), vice president and global brand manager for Residence Inn, presented 2014 Resident Mom of the Year Mia Hamm with a $10,000 check for the Mia Hamm Foundation. Hamm was joined by soccer players from South Bronx United.
Smiling, her dark brown hair tied up high on her head to match her workout attire, national soccer hero and role model Mia Hamm walked on stage at the Marriott Residence Inn Central Park hotel on May 6 to receive an award for one of her most important accomplishments: being a mom.
During an afternoon ceremony held at the recently opened hotel in Midtown, Residence Inn recognized Hamm as its 2014 Resident Mom of the Year. The award included a $10,000 donation to the Mia Hamm Foundation, which Hamm founded in order to support bone marrow research in memory of her brother who passed away from a rare blood disease.
Although she often has been recognized for her soccer prowess, including her pair of Olympic gold medals and two FIFA Women’s World Cup wins, Hamm received the Residence Inn award in recognition of her dedication to her family.
“I think to be honored as a mom is very flattering,” Hamm said. “I love being a mom. It’s the best job I could have asked for, and I love every minute I get to spend with my kids.”
The award also recognized Hamm’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle despite a busy schedule. She thought juggling a soccer ball was hard until she had kids, Hamm said. Now, putting time into herself each day by exercising gives her the energy needed to focus and be a better mom.
At the award ceremony, Hamm performed various exercises from a 10-minute routine specifically tailored for busy moms.
“This is something you can do in your hotel room, or you can do in your living room or outside on your back patio,” Hamm said of the exercises she demonstrated. “You don’t need a lot of space, [and] you don’t need equipment.”
On stage performing the exercises with her was Meredith, a young girl from South Bronx United. The organization is a youth development program that uses soccer as a way to reach kids in the South Bronx. The Mia Hamm Foundation has awarded South Bronx United grants over the past few years to support their girls’ soccer program, and this year, the girls from the program got to meet Hamm in person.
“Mia is [Meredith’s] idol,” said Andrew So, executive director of South Bronx United. In a male-dominated sports world, So said his girls don’t often see female role models. “Just to see a female athlete that’s achieved great things is really special for them,” he said.
At the end of the event, Hamm answered audience questions about parenting and healthy living. For her, it is important to be active with her kids and lead by example. And, for parents with children hesitant about joining sports teams, she encouraged parents to keep trying.
“For me, through sport, I found so much self-confidence,” Hamm said.
Ultimate Soccer Mom Competition Announced
Residence Inn also announced its Ultimate Soccer Mom Competition, which asks moms across the country to nominate themselves for the title. The winner, chosen by Hamm and a panel from Residence Inn, will be flown with three guests to meet Hamm at the new Residence Inn L.A. LIVE hotel in Los Angeles this summer.
“I think it’s great that we’re honoring them,” Hamm said. “I’m excited to see some of these entries because there are some awesome moms.”
Moms interested in entering the competition should post a 100-word entry with a photo to either Facebook or Instagram, tagging @ResidenceInn and including the hashtag #RIMomsMonth. The contest ends May 31. For more information, view the contest’s official rules.