New York, NY (September 13, 2021) — The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) is proud to announce the launch of We Play Interactive, a first-of-its kind digital resource for coaches, leaders, and mentors of girl-serving sports programs. From a robust bevy of training and activity modules to inspiring video content, the new platform uses a holistic approach grounded in social and emotional learning, to help girls elevate their voices, tap into their power, and discover the joy and motivation that comes from physical activity and sport.
WSF research shows that a gender gap in sports persists. Far fewer girls than boys are currently playing sports (36.4% girls vs 45.6% boys), and comparatively, girls (ages 7-17) are more likely to drop out of sports – at one and one quarter times the rate of boys – despite increases in access and opportunity.* Given the life-long benefits sports and physical activity provide, WSF felt it imperative to create this new platform to further support program leaders, coaches and mentors looking to create a safe and welcoming program environment for girls.
“When girls are given the opportunity to play, explore and lead, they grow up to be healthier, stronger and more confident,” said Deborah Antoine, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “The resources offered through We Play Interactive align beautifully with the Foundation’s goal to help unlock the possibilities in every girl through the power of sports and movement.”
We Play Interactive is designed around gender-informed strategies and resources to better serve girls. The platform provides professional development training along with 10 theme-based activity modules, featuring topics such as ‘Connect Mind-Body: Mental Health,’ ‘Our Body, Our Power,’ and ‘Activism, Allyship and Social Change.’ Each activity offers easy-to-follow activity plans with warm ups, movement-based activities, breathing exercises, reflections, discussions and more. We Play Interactive also includes a new library of vibrant video content featuring accomplished female athletes sharing personal stories, from their athletic challenges and triumphs, to the everyday ways they manage stress, body image and more. It also provides an online discussion platform for coaches and leaders to connect with one another across the country, helping to create a positive, fun and welcoming environment for girls to grow and thrive.
“Coming out of the pandemic, we see girls are excited to express themselves, talk about their communities, and they’re anxious to have adults that care enough about them to help them better understand themselves,” said Michele Gbelama, Education Manager, Kings County Tennis League Tompkins Housing Development. “We’re already seeing our girls learn so much from our utilizing this brand new platform; we recently talked about mind-body connection, which was an emotional and powerful activity as girls really got deep into how they see themselves, and how they believe other people see them. Their confidence grew through the activity, and it brought us all closer together.”
Yahoo Sports and Verizon Foundation provided generous funding towards the creation of We Play Interactive. Key program partners include the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) and Kings County Tennis, both of which played instrumental roles in its development, and FieldLevel, a distribution partner. Learn more about the platform here.
*Zarrett, N., Veliz, P.T., & Sabo, D. (2020). Keeping Girls in the Game: Factors that Influence Sport Participation. New York, NY: Women’s Sports Foundation.
About the Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation exists to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. We are an ally, an advocate and a catalyst. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we strengthen and expand participation and leadership opportunities through research, advocacy, community programming and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. The Women’s Sports Foundation has positively shaped the lives of millions of youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes, elite athletes and coaches. We’re building a future where every girl and woman can #KeepPlaying and unlock the lifelong benefits of sport participation. All girls. All women. All sports ®. To learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, please visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org.
Women’s Sports Foundation