As we grow up, there’s a point in many girls’ lives when we just…stop being as active. We might give up the team sports, like netball and hockey, that we once loved; we might stop going swimming with our mates; we might even use fake headaches and bogus period pains to get out of PE. Sport for some becomes a tedious chore that’s more accessible to boys – not least because the coaches in our lives, at school and local sports clubs, are usually male.
Last Sunday’s International Day of the Girl (11th October) celebrated girls seeing themselves as changemakers – and acknowledged the urgent need to empower them further. When it comes to sport, Nike is changing the game. Girls are made to play and they deserve the physical, psychological and social benefits of sport just as much as boys do.
Nike’s Made to Play commitment is emboldening girls all around the world by getting them moving (and keeping this up beyond adolescence), at both a grassroots and professional level. By working with community partners to grow the number of female coaches (because you cannot be what you cannot see) and creating free, downloadable digital tools like the Made to Play Coaching Girls Guide, Nike is whittling down the cultural, social and economic barriers that see girls drop out of sport at twice the rate of boys and get fewer sport opportunities to begin with.
Meet five female coaches who are changing the game, making sport better and expanding access for girls in their cities.