Mission: Girls Play Sports is dedicated to fostering leadership skills and confidence in girls through their participation in a wide variety of sports.
Results: Girls Play Sports is on a mission to teach a wide variety of sports to pre-teens and teens through our three-tiered approach:
Fourth and Fifth grade girls are introduced to a multitude of sports through a series of free After School Clinics throughout the school year at their respective schools and the GPS Festival at their local high school.
Middle school girls gain deeper instruction in up to sixteen different sports throughout the school year from varsity high school athletes from their community through the Team GPS program and they also have the opportunity to compete in leagues and tournaments in sports that are usually not offered until high school.
High school athletes gain leadership and coaching skills while they introduce their sports to younger girls and teach them the skills, strategies and techniques. They also help facilitate discussions about the importance of sports as well as other meaningful topics for girls.
Exposure to multiple sports is important for many reasons. First and foremost, GPS wants to give girls the opportunity to explore other sports that might interest them. Second, sport specialization begins far too early these days, leading girls to early burnout and overuse injuries. A wider variety of sports keeps it fresh and fun. Playing different sports also helps improve the overall athleticism of younger athletes through cross-training, improving eye-hand coordination and overall fitness. Finally, participating in multiple sports often means connecting with a wider group of girls and increasing their pool of friends.
GPS is proud to be a curriculum-based program with structured time devoted to discussing topics that affect teenage girls: health and nutrition, drugs and alcohol, friendships and relationships, social media, team building, bullying, body image, and career exploration. These topics are incorporated into every Team GPS session so that girls gain insight and confidence to discuss and reflect on these important issues as they grow and mature and confront the harsh realities facing young women today.
Girls Play Sports helps build better women, not just better athletes.
Target demographics: to build leadership and confidence in young girls (4th grade - 8th grade) through their participation in a wide variety of sports.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,000 program participants
Geographic areas served: Evanston, Illinois
Programs: GPS After School Clinics, GPS Festival, GPS Leagues and Tournaments, GPS Summer Camp and Team GPS programs.
My oldest daughter participated in Girls Play Sports all through middle school. She loved playing sports with other girls and being exposed to sports she'd never played. She has volunteered with the program since being a participant. I strongly recommend the program.
If you look at this picture, my oldest daughter is the laughing girl behind the hands at the right looking at the girl throwing the ball in the pool! That says it all. Both she and my younger daughter love Girls Play Sports. My partner and I did not grow up playing sports. When our oldest started wanting to play, we knew we had to figure this out. Along came Girls Play Sports. We love that our daughters have been exposed to so many sports each year. We also appreciate the positive role models and important conversations they've had. Give today so more girls have this experience! We do.