As the year comes to a close, we find ourselves both inspired and challenged. We take tremendous pride in the current programs your support has helped us develop. Here are some highlights:
- Awarding 82 WSF Sports 4 Life grants to community-based organizations across the country providing African-American and Hispanic girls ages 11-18 with access to sports so that they can experience the health, education, leadership and economic benefits associated with athletics.
- Assisting hundreds of champion athletes to transition from their playing careers to their next professional challenge through the WSF Athlete Leadership Connection, our initiative that provides expert resources, education and networks athletes need to become powerful leaders. Expanding this program through Candid Conversations, WSF’s college campus program that helps collegiate athletes transfer their achievements on the field to the workplace, prepared for success.
- Reversing the downward trend of female coaches in college sports using the release of WSF’s new groundbreaking research, Beyond X’s & O’s, to launch our Sports Advocacy Network, an ongoing effort which brings Athletic Directors, commissioners, coaches, lawyers and other experts together to develop and implement a long-term plan to eliminate gender bias and promote women’s leadership.
- Celebrating WSF’s 37th Annual Salute to Women in Sports, recognizing the accomplishments of female athletes, including over 30 Rio Olympians and Paralympians and 15 WSF Travel & Training grant recipients – raising record level funds to support our research, programs and advocacy initiatives.
We are making progress. At the same time, we are in the midst of so much change. While we don’t know the extent of changes the new Administration will make, we do know that it can have a direct impact on our work. We are not daunted. Title IX and other gender equity legislation have been under attack before. We are already collaborating with organizations that share our commitment to the social change we seek for girls and women. Fighting for girls’ and women’s rights is what unites us.
The work of the Women’s Sports Foundation has never been more relevant. We will continue to stand up, speak out, support and lead. We can’t do it alone. Your donation will help protect decades of progress and support our efforts to ensure that equality, respect, and social justice remain the hallmarks of this great nation.
Have a happy, healthy holiday season,
Deborah Slaner Larkin
CEO, Women’s Sports Foundation