Active kids do better — in school, in their communities and in their future careers — and too many girls (and kids who are non-binary or identify as girls) are still being left on the sidelines. Across the globe, they face unique challenges to participation and are dropping out of play and sport at twice the rate of boys.
Through Made to Play, we’re pushing for a world where every kid has access to play and sport, especially in underserved communities. We’re working with community partners to level the playing field for girls (and women) across the globe. We’re investing in gender-inclusive training, growing the number of female coaches and role models and expanding opportunities to participate. Because play equals power. And we believe girls can change sport — and the world — for the better.
Globally, girls continue to face more challenges to getting — and staying — active than boys, including cultural, social and economic factors, like a lack of supportive coaches, or adequate apparel and equipment. We’re addressing those challenges head-on and making sport both more accessible and more approachable for girls. For example, in 2019, we began donating sports bras and hijabs to girls who needed them through our community partners. By giving girls the tools and training they need for success, we’re helping them build confidence on and off the court — boosting their chances of staying in the game and seeing big benefits later in life.
Great coaches teach, empower and inspire kids to reach their full potential. And research shows that when young girls, in particular, connect with their coaches, they’re more likely to keep playing. So we’re focused on improving the quality and quantity of coaches for girls, providing strong, caring mentors they can look up to in sport and beyond. We’re creating virtual training experiences and building digital tools, such as the free How to Coach Kids: Coaching Girls training program and new Made to Play Coaching Girls Guide, to help parents, coaches and other caring adults support fun, gender-inclusive, kid-centered play. We’re also teaming up with partners to help grow the number of female coaches — because right now they only make up about one quarter of youth sports head coaches, and we believe if she can see it, she can be it.
We invest in research-backed, innovative play- and sport-based programs that expand opportunities — and build a strong community — for girls. We support both gender-inclusive training and girls-only curriculum that are based on local insights and address the unique, often culturally relevant, challenges girls face when it comes to participating in sports in their communities. We’re also looking to experts and other thought leaders to help us create new programs and tools to support girls, because we know we’re stronger when we work together.