This month, we're focusing our energy on supporting girls in sports – encouraging them to stay active, healthy and engaged. Here are a few North American charities that aim to do the same thing for girls!
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run, which focuses on girls aged 8-13, aims to "inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running."
Over a 10-week period, girls of all physical ability and fitness level participate in a program that includes a healthy lifestyle curriculum, interactive lessons, running games and skills development. The program focuses on exploring new ideas, cultivating empathy and strengthening connection. At the end of the program, girls take part in a celebratory 5K run to show them just how far they've come!
Fast and Female
Fast and Female, which is led by two Olympians and targets girls aged 8-18, aims to combat one of the top reasons girls drop out of sports at six times the rate of boys: lack of social belonging. As such, the organization's vision is to create a positive, empowering environment for girls in sport.
Fast and Female hosts non-competitive events to teach girls leadership skills and to help develop their appreciation of the importance of staying active throughout life.
Women’s Sports Foundation
Founded in 1974 by tennis legend Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is “dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring all girls access to sports.”
The organization offers grants and scholarships, conducts research, educates, advocates and provides several programs for African American and Hispanic girls aged 11-18, as well as programs for sedentary girls.
Girls in the Game
Girls in the Game is a Chicago-based organization for elementary to high school girls that includes camps, game days, clinics and after-school programs.
“Our girls learn to exercise, eat better, they acquire improved social skills, better self-control, perform better in the class and become healthy lifestyle ambassadors to their families and friends.”
GAALS (Girls Athletics and Life Skills) aims to build grils' self-esteem and empowerment through activities that enhance physical, social and emotional well being.
GAALS caters to girls aged 3-18 and offers camps, classes and workshops. Through physical games, conversations about important life skills and a supportive environment, the program “enables each girl to recognize she is not alone in her thoughts and feelings, a powerful tool in building self-esteem, strength and courage to express herself authentically.”
Sporty Girls, which targets minority girls aged 8-18, encourages them to achieve success in “non-traditional” sports, including golf, soccer, swimming, and tennis.
The Atlanta, GA-based organization offers exposure to sports, lifestyle skills, camps and clinics with a goal to developing "young female athletes into collegiate superstars who will earn athletic and/or academic scholarships." Sporty girls also awards scholarships for participation in year-long golf, soccer, swimming, and tennis programs.
Lynne Koziey is the Founder and CEO of BounceLab Ltd., the company behind the Būband.