By the time girls reach 8th grade, they are 50% more likely to drop out of sports than boys, creating barriers that can last a lifetime. Unfortunately, girls start sports later, end earlier and play less altogether. 70% of girls who quit playing feel like they don’t belong in sports. The experience needs to change to provide inclusive and meaningful opportunities for girls to play, and girls want the tools to create that change themselves.
Through Game Growers, Nike and the Lakers invited 8th grade girls across LA to form teams of two and share their ideas about keeping girls playing sports. Hundreds of teams submitted their game plan on how they would move the world. Rachel Buczek and Sage Ligotti were selected as the 2019-2020 Los Angeles Lakers Game Growers for their idea of “The Caterpillar Course”. The Caterpillar Course is all about breaking down the barriers that girls experience when playing sports – intimidation, embarrassment and lack of knowledge. The course provides an opportunity for girls of any background to come together, innovate and inspire each other to play and develop a lifelong love of sports.
Throughout the season, Rachel and Sage visited the UCLA Health Training Center to collaborate and develop their idea with the Lakers, before traveling to Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, for Game Growers Training Camp. At training camp, Game Growers from across the country shared their ideas and experiences before heading back to their community to activate on their game plan.
The Game Growers experience has allowed Rachel and Sage to push their ideas, and in the end, they have moved the needle for girls in sports in their community. These girls have led the charge, and along the way they have inspired, empowered and united hundreds of girls around them.
It’s time to change the game and we believe it starts by listening to girls. To learn more about the Game Growers program, visit: www.gamegrowers.com
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