Nike knows that all kids have an innate sense of play. Helping kids discover the joy of sport is central to the work by Nike’s Social & Community Impact team, which works across the globe to open access to sporting opportunity for all kids, and especially for girls, who, statistically, are twice as likely to drop out of sport at age 14 as boys.
A major part of Nike’s commitment is providing young girls with positive sport experiences, from making sure their coaches are trained to affirming their aspirations within the sports they play.
Training A New Generation of Coaches
Coaches can alter the trajectory of a young girl’s path to taking up sport. In 2019, Nike introduced a number of programs, including the Coaching Girls course within How to Coach Kids, a training tool developed in partnership with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and Aspen Institute’s Project Play, to promote a new standard for coaches.
The power of bringing women together to understand best coaching practices for girls was exhibited during the inaugural Nike Legacy Summit in Los Angeles in April, gathering local women for a weekend-long workshop to begin their coaching journey. A second summit took place a few months later in Chicago. The positive response to the program has spurred plans for more summits in other major US cities in 2020.
Providing Access to Sport
Nike partnered in 2019 with PowerPlay, a NYC-based nonprofit that aims to increase sports participation in young girls ages 8 to 18 throughout the five boroughs. With programming designed on teaching fundamental skills in a variety of sports, as well as leadership lessons, PowerPlay serves more than 1,800 participants annually at more than 35 sites.
In Europe, Nike is supporting access to sport for girls through its partnership with L dans la Ville, a focus within Sport dans la Ville in France, helping at-risk girls in marginalized neighborhoods achieve a better life through sports and job-readiness training. The branch was created to encourage the more than 1,000 girls in the program to keep playing in sport, and support their personal development off the field.
“For the past year, the Made to Play program has been supporting our L dans la Ville program dedicated to empowering girls through sport,” says Elise Curioni, Partnerships and Development Director for Sports Dans La Ville.
Matching Global Inspiration with Opportunities to Play
This summer’s football tournament in France presented an exciting opportunity to grow grassroots football for young girls internationally through La Nuestra, an Argentinian organization that works to empower women through football.
“I’ve always had a passion for football, and especially the opportunity to shape other players,” says Juliana Roman Lozano, Football Director for La Nuestra. “I want these girls to have what I never had as a child. Here in Argentina, football is synonymous with masculinity. I believe that when more women enter the sport and demand their right to play, they’re also breaking down social barriers.”