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About Sports 4 Life

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Program Background

In October 2014, the Women’s Sports Foundation, with support from founding partner espnW, launched “Sports 4 Life” a national grant program to increase participation and retention of African-American and Hispanic girls in sports. The benefits of sports participation on young women are tremendous: increased confidence and higher self-esteem, a more positive body image, better overall physical health and lower rates of obesity, better grades in school, a higher graduation rate and a greater likelihood to attend college. Quality sports programs can also provide a leadership training experience for girls.

Sports 4 Life, like all Women’s Sports Foundation initiatives, is supported by evidence-based research. The WSF report “Go Out and Play: Youth Sports in America” illustrates that African-American and Hispanic girls are doubly hit by both gender and race disparities in sports. Girls in these demographics are less likely to play sports than boys and less likely to play sports than their Caucasian peers. They also enter sports at a later age and drop out earlier.

The Women’s Sports Foundation wants to empower communities, and organizations like yours, to reverse this alarming trend by increasing girls’ access to sport which provides girls with the foundational benefits of sports: leadership, self-esteem, confidence, and perseverance.

WSF offers two levels of funding support to girl serving organizations across the country.

  • Sports 4 Life Community Partners
  • Sports 4 Life Regional Partners

How To Apply

The application is open as of November 27, 2017. Beginning in the 2017-18 cycle, the Women’s Sports Foundation will be accepting applications from organizations by invitation only. This will help to ensure that diversity of sport, geography, community need and different organizational capacities are well represented by the program.

If you have been invited to apply, please review the criteria and guidelines for community funding and regional funding and for the link to apply.

Questions About Our Program?

Please contact Cicley Gay at CGay@womenssportsfoundation.org or Elizabeth Flores at ElizabethFlores@womenssportsfoundation.org.