Twice as many girls drop out of sports when they hit 14-years-old than boys do — largely due to a lack of access, social stigmas and a lack of role models, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.
The WNBA has a new plan to help fix that.
The league, along with the NBA, launched “Her Time To Play” this week, a campaign designed to keep young girls involved in sports for longer.
“In the age range of 7 to 14, when girls are facing many of the challenges, we’ve seen decline in participation,” David Krichavsky, NBA vice president of youth basketball development, told ESPN. “We’ve also seen that there aren’t as many opportunities for women to serve in coaching and mentorship roles for girls. So we’ve launched a program this year as part of our Jr. NBA Week.”
The program will provide youth organizations across the country with a free basketball curriculum and life skills lessons designed for young women, and will help train and license 500 new female coaches and mentors through USA Basketball, according to ESPN.
Each chapter throughout the curriculum includes personal stories from WNBA players, highlighting all 12 teams across the league, and teaches lessons designed to help build confidence, prepare for challenges in adolescence and help teach values like teamwork, the league announced.
“The response from the basketball community, the WNBA community and on social media has been that this is a truly important campaign, and a timely one too,” Krichavsky told ESPN. “We’re dealing with a society that’s evolving in a lot of ways, and we think this meets the needs of girls today.”
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