Sporting Chance® provides girls with opportunities to learn basic movement and sport skills and increase their coordination, endurance, and strength.
Although 51% of girls in grades 9 to 12 played on a sports team in high school in 2003, and the number of female athletes is growing, too many girls still encounter roadblocks that leave them sitting on the sidelines instead of sprinting toward the finish line. When girls’ access to sports participation is limited, they miss the chance to develop skills that will help them succeed and habits that can keep them healthy throughout their lives. Girls Incorporated aims to make sports an integral part of girls’ lives and recognizes that girls have much to gain by early participation in sports. According to one expert, if a girl does not participate in sports by the time she is 10, there is only a 10% chance that she will be athletic when she is 25.
Research shows that children ages 9 and 10 who participate in sports rate higher on perceived physical competence and general self-worth than those who don’t. In a study of high school students, young women who participated in sports were 40% less likely to drop out of high school and 33% less likely to become teen mothers than their non-athletic counterparts. Young women who participated in sports were also less likely to have smoked cigarettes than those who did not. In addition, girls who are athletes in high school are more likely to have higher grades and standardized test scores, and are more likely to attend college. Adolescent girls who exercise regularly can reduce their risk for obesity, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Girls Inc. Sporting Chance provides girls with opportunities to have fun; learn basic movement and sport skills; increase their coordination, endurance, and strength; consider the career opportunities connected to sports; and learn about successful athletes and the history of women in sports. They learn how to be both cooperative and competitive, and how to discipline their bodies and their minds. In the Sporting Chance program, older girls act as “peer coaches,” developing leadership skills, providing assistance to adult coaches, and gaining work experience.