Sports 4 Life

Published on August 31st, 2019

Sports 4 Life, cofounded by the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW in 2014, was created based on the knowledge that while sports participation offers tremendous life-long benefits – from improved physical health and self-esteem, to better grades in school and enhanced leadership skills – young girls of color are disproportionately excluded. The program seeks to increase the participation and retention of African-American and Hispanic girls, ages 11-18, in developmental youth sports programs.

Deadlines and Relevant Dates

The 2020 Sports 4 Life Partner funding cycle is open.

WSF will adhere to the following schedule:
· LOI application must be submitted by March 13, 2020
· Target date for LOI feedback is March 31, 2020
· Follow-up grant applications will be requested on an invitation only basis
·  Final decisions will be made by May 31, 2020

Grant Eligibility

In general, applicants should be a non-profit school, parks and recreation department, non-profit organization or an amateur sports league. Eligible applicants must demonstrate that their program meets the following criteria:

  • Serves predominately African-American or Hispanic girls (representing more than 70% of the enrolled program participants).
  • Has the ability to deliver structured, developmental sports programming to girls ages 11 to 18 through experienced and committed leadership.
  • Has the ability to provide ongoing funding to implement sports programming after the life of the funding has expired.
  • Complies with all of the applicable Federal Civil Rights laws, including the requirements pertaining to developing and submitting an Equal Employment Opportunity Plan (EEOP), reporting Findings of Discrimination, and providing language services to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons.

Sports 4 Life Partners that have received prior funding should demonstrate how funding has resulted in the growth of girls participating in sports. Any subsequent funding is contingent upon receipt of a satisfactory final and/or mid-term report.

Grant Exclusion

Sports 4 Life Partners that have received three years of consecutive funding will not be invited to apply until 2021.

Grant Allocation

Funding can be used for coaching, curriculum, equipment, uniforms, transportation, facility rental, tournaments and/or team-building activities, all while fostering the Sports 4 Life benefits: leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance.

Grant Requirements

  • Participation in Women’s Sports Foundation program evaluation webinars by a designated program administrator.
  • Completion of pre- and post-participation attitudinal surveys by the girl participants enrolled in the program. *
  • Completion of post-program surveys by the designated program administrator.
  • If requested, provide your organization’s most recent audited financials or IRS Form 990.
  • Completion of a final report detailing the impact of the program and how the funding was used. Recipients that request renewed funding will be asked to provide a mid-term report.
  • If requested, participation in a site visit(s) by the Women’s Sports Foundation during the course of the program.
  • Appropriate acknowledgement of Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW support in one or more of the following: program events, publications, videos, display onsite at facility or website. Usage guidelines will be provided to recipients.
    Regularly provide photos, videos, press clippings and other relevant publicity information about the projects, services, operations, activities or programs in which grant funds were used on an ongoing basis and as attachments to the required reports.
  • Access to the program’s girl participants for evaluation and public education purposes. *
  • Acknowledge that public announcements of the funding award may be made by the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW.

*The funded program is responsible for securing appropriate parental consent, as needed.

Grant Award

Together, the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW will award a total program minimum of $200,000 each year.

How to Apply

The Women’s Sports Foundation has developed a two-step application process that involves an LOI application and a follow-up grant application. A selected group of organizations will be invited to submit a follow-up grant application. Please note that an invitation for an organization to submit a grant application does not guarantee that they will receive a grant.

During the program application period, an authorized representative must visit Foundant GLM, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s grant-management system, and follow the directions to register a new user profile or update an existing profile. Limit one (1) profile per person/email address. Once your profile is registered, you will be able to save and submit your LOI application on the website. After your LOI application is submitted, you will need to be invited to submit a grant application in order to proceed in the application process.

Please read carefully through the full eligibility requirements and program criteria before starting a Foundant account and applying. Applicants will be judged on what information is available or provided at the time of application submission.

Notification of Application Acceptance

You will receive an e-mail at the e-mail address provided in your profile when your application has been received.

Any application that is late, incomplete or requesting funds for an event or purchase of equipment that will occur before the applicant would receive the grant money will not be accepted.

Other conditions under which an application will not be accepted:

Applications that are e-mailed or faxed
Applications for programs that require compulsory religious participation
Applications requesting funding towards the purchase of land, construction of buildings, event sponsorships, providing scholarships to individuals and/or the purchase/care of animals
Applications requesting retroactive funding

2019 Recipients

Boys & Girls Club of Southcentral Alaska (Alaska)Directed Initiatives for Youth, Inc dBA Excite All Stars (La.)
Birmingham Area Tennis Association (Ala.)Harlem Lacrosse (Mass.)
Fort Smith Express Soccer Association (Ark.)Playworks New England (Mass.)
Southwest Leadership Academy (Ariz.)Detroit PAL (Mich.)
Baseball for All (Calif.)#SomaliGirlsRock (Minn.)
ICEF Public Schools (Calif.)Education First, Athletics Second Coalition (Kan.)
Oakland Lacrosse Club (Calif.)Darden Enlightenment Center (N.C.)
Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside (Calif.)Girls Incorporated of Omaha (Neb.)
The SCGA Junior Golf Foundation (Calif.)City of Passaic, Passaic Recreation Softball Program (N.J.)
Natasha Watley Foundation (Calif.)Dancing Dreams (N.Y.)
USA Field Hockey (Colo.)Urban Sports Group (N.Y.)
The Cycle Effect (Colo.)Brooklyn Youth Sports Club (N.Y.)
Constitution State Junior Roller Derby (Conn.)Girls on the Run NYC (N.Y.)
Norwalk Grassroots Tennis & Education (Conn.)Inspirational Triathlon Racing International ("i-tri") (N.Y.)
Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury, Inc. (Conn.)New Heights Youth, Inc. (N.Y.)
Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena (Washington D.C.)Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation (Okla.)
The Washington Inner City Lacrosse Foundation (Washington D.C.)Lancaster Tennis Patrons Association Inc. (Penn.)
Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association (Del.)Down the Line and Beyond (Penn.)
Florida Future Elite (Fla.)MVP360 Leadership Development Programs, Inc. (Penn.)
PACE Center for Girls, Lee County (Fla.)NNCC Students Run Philly Style (Penn.)
USA Water Ski & Wake Sports (Fla.)Philadelphia Youth Basketball (Penn.)
KiDsGym USA, Inc. (Fla.)Memphis Inner City Rugby (Tenn.)
Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (Idaho)Lady Wheelchair Mavericks Dallas VA Basketball Association (Texas)
Baseball for All (Ill.)BRIDGE Lacrosse (Texas)
Lost Boyz, Inc. (Ill.)Texas Regional Para Sport (Texas) (Va.)


If after reading these guidelines carefully, you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Flores-Amaya: 516.307.3915 or