Always Partners with YMCA to Create Sports Grants for Girls During Puberty

Always has teamed up with the YMCA to create the Always Sports Grant, a new fund providing 1,500 girls access to sports programs in ten states across the country. Sports are a critical way for girls to gain confidence and life-skills that help them later in life. With nearly one in two girls dropping out of sports at puberty, the grants will further Always’ mission to #KeepHerPlaying.

This latest donation comes off the back of the Always #KeepHerPlaying campaign, where Always teamed up with Olympic and professional athletes including Elena Delle Donne and Jessica McDonald who credit playing sports during puberty as a key enabler of their success.

“Growing up, basketball enabled me to be confident, while also teaching me lifelong skills like teamwork, resilience and the importance of hard work to achieve a goal,” said Delle Donne. “I attribute my success on the court and as a small business owner to those life lessons.”

The Always Sports Grant will give at-risk girls between the ages of 10 and 18 access to a season of youth sports including soccer, basketball, swim team, gymnastics, volleyball, or any other sport offered by the local YMCA. Grants will be provided to YMCA chapters in Phoenix, Ariz., Houston, Texas, Dallas, Texas, Portland, Maine, Charleston, W.Va., New York, N.Y., Jacksonville, Fla., Tampa, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa. and Des Moines, Iowa.

“With more than 500,000 children and teens across the country participating in our youth sports programs each year, the Y understands how important sports and playtime are to a child’s development,” said Suzanne McCormick, president and chief executive officer, YMCA of the USA. “Generous partners like Procter and Gamble’s Always make it possible for YMCAs to deliver these vital programs to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to participate. We are especially grateful for this partnership, which will make a meaningful difference in the lives of countless girls in Y communities as we encourage them to play sports.”

In addition to this donation to the YMCA, Always donated $500,000 to Women’s Sports Foundation Grantees earlier this year. The previous donation was used to support ten grassroots organizations across the country that further the #KeepHerPlaying cause, including Angel City Sports (Los Angeles, Calif.), Biltmore Preparatory Academy (Phoenix, Ariz.) and the Boys and Girls Club of Benton County (Bentonville, Ark.).

Always’ research found that girls drop out of sports predominantly because they felt the need to focus on other things. Other key reasons included no longer finding it fun (23%), and not feeling good enough (19%).1 Always is committed to helping build a society that tackles these issues and raises up female athletes to #KeepHerPlaying, so that all girls can build confidence through sports.

“It is essential that we as a society understand and share our own experiences of the benefits sports have outside of physical fitness and competition,” said Jennifer Davis, President, Global Feminine Care at Procter & Gamble. “Sports were an integral part of my scholastic experience, and they shaped my leadership philosophy. I’m not alone: 75% of people believe playing sports during puberty has a positive impact on their future career, yet nearly half of girls in the U.S. drop out of sports during puberty. I’m so proud of the work Always has done this year to #KeepHerPlaying. In partnership with female athletes, trailblazing women, and several of our valued retailer partners, we rallied society to support girls in sports. We have channeled funds to groups including YMCA and Women Sports Foundation to help thousands of girls stay in the game.”

To learn more about the campaign, go to Always.com/KeepHerPlaying.

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