This is the second installment of The ABC’s of WSF. To read the first, please click here.
We have been working for 44 years, since our inception in San Francisco in 1974, when the landscape in girls’ and women’s sports looked entirely different than it does today. In that time, we have galvanized valuable and historic advances for girls and women in sports, and with that comes a broad web of programs and policies, a deep network of athletes and influencers, and a complex catalog of key terms, language and yes, even some acronyms.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most illuminating of those key terms in the ABCs of the WSF:
O is for Outspoken: The women and athletes who make up the Women’s Sports Foundation are not afraid to use their voices to speak out about the inequalities and injustices that plague girls and women in sport, and on behalf of those that may not be able to speak up for themselves. We want to make sure that every girl and women has a voice and is heard. We give voice to the voiceless.
P is for Partnerships: It takes a group effort to rally and create impact in order to cultivate change. Our community, regional and national partners help make this possible through their generous time and donations for our programs and grants that strengthen and expand opportunities for all girls and women in sport. Such an impact increases the sustainability of community organizations.
Q is for Quality: The quality and care we display in our programs speaks to who we are as a Foundation. With programs such as GoGirlGo!, we instill in girls the necessary tools to lead a healthy and active lifestyle while building confidence. We champion athletes and those who have the potential to be the future leaders we need to effect change.
R is for Representation: WSF recognizes the importance of representation and inclusion, and advocates for historically underserved communities. It’s important that young girls are able to view themselves in positions of power and leadership roles no matter their race, sexual orientation, ability or socioeconomic status. Our work promotes a better tomorrow where future generations of female athletes don’t face the same discrimination.
S is for S.H.E. Network: The S.H.E. Network is our blog that conveys the importance of getting out and getting active through encouraging articles of information and inspiration. It’s the awareness and ultimate combination of (s)ports, (h)ealth and (e)ducation information. We aim to cultivate a generation of girls that lead active, healthy lives physically and mentally.
T is for Title IX: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Title IX is the symbol of strides being made to fix inequality and discrimination in society. It ensures that every girl is afforded the same opportunities as her male counterparts. It’s a reminder of the work done to curtail injustice, but also the work that still needs to be done with the ones that have yet to be settled.
U is for Underserved Communities: It is one of our most pertinent initiatives to serve the communities of those who do not have access to the funds or programs that can act as an outlet for the adversities that are endured. With programs such as Sports 4 Life, the main objective of which is to increase the participation and retention of African American and Hispanic girls in developmental youth programs, we aim to improve the overall health and development of girls in these communities.
V is for Value: We take pride in the value of our programming that creates positive experiences and opportunity for thousands of girls and women. The invaluable life lessons, exposure and friendships gained will forever be embedded in them, cultivating proactive leaders and future advocates.
W is for Women: The millions of women’s lives that have been changed by our mission keeps us thriving. It is also the incredible women that inspire us to do what we do. We will continue to advocate on their behalf and encourage a healthy lifestyle they can embrace while having fun.
X is for Xenophobic-free: WSF embraces all races, cultures and creeds. We take the steps necessary along with encouraging others to take time to learn from one another through open dialogue in order to gain a better understanding of each other all while dissolving prejudices, ultimately breaking down barriers and building bridges.
Z is for Zeal: We have zeal: A passion and enthusiasm like no other! We’re proud to foster an environment of acceptance and assurance. It’s our eagerness and willingness to help and effect change in the lives of girls and women that makes us proud to be who we are.
Want more information about WSF? Click here to learn more about our Foundation’s work.