New Always® Survey Reveals Nearly 75% Believe Playing Sports During Puberty Has a Positive Impact on Future Career Success

Always is teaming up with renowned girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, professional athletes including Olympic gold medal basketball player, Elena Delle Donne and other trailblazing role models to help girls stay in sports because research has proven the benefits of participation go far beyond the game. Since nearly half of girls drop out of sports during puberty1, Always is rallying society to #KeepHerPlaying, knowing it is an important way for her to gain the confidence and skills that help her become whoever she wants to be.

A recent survey, commissioned by Always and conducted in partnership with One Poll, found the benefits for girls in sports go far beyond the cheers, the wins and the bragging rights. Women who played sports during puberty say doing so helped them build skills that have served them throughout their lives. The results showed that, in addition to physical fitness:

  • 53% credit sports for improving their teamwork skills
  • 66% agree it has a positive impact on academic performance
  • 44% said sports improved their ability to deal with stress
  • And – 56% of parents say sports is beneficial for their daughter’s mental health

However, despite all the value sports participation provides, nearly half of girls will drop out of sports during puberty, mostly because they feel the need to focus on other things (27%), they no longer find it fun (23%), or they don’t feel they are good enough (19%). The survey also found that more than 1 in 4 people agree if you’re not winning at sports, there’s no point to keep playing.

Always is highlighting the unexpected ways sports can transform her future in a new video. The content showcases Malala Yousafzai, Paralympian & mentor Scout Bassett and human rights activist, poet & storyteller, Sara Mora, who all credit playing sports during puberty as a key enabler of their success. The video aims to inspire people everywhere to help #KeepHerPlaying so she can be whoever she wants to be. You can watch it here.

“The people in my life know me as an advocate for undocumented immigrants and while that is truly my passion, what they may not know is that sports helped me get to where I am today.” says Sara Mora. “Volleyball taught me teamwork and perseverance that has been critical to my fight for immigrants’ rights. I’m proud to partner with Always to make sure girls everywhere have the opportunity to play because with sports, our strength becomes the torch we light our day to day with.”

In addition to the three featured in the new video, the following role models are joining Always as they rally society to help keep girls playing because they too have seen the wide-ranging benefits of sports firsthand:

  • Jessica McDonald – U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team World Cup Champion, Mother and Equal Pay Advocate
  • Elena Delle Donne – Two-time WNBA MVP, Olympic Gold Medal Basketball Player, Disability Advocate and Small Business Owner
  • Mariah Duran – Top U.S. Women Street Skateboarder, Olympic Athlete and Athletes for Good Grant Recipient
  • Kavya Kopparapu – Founder and CEO of the Girls Computing League, Advocate, Changemaker and Innovator

“Playing sports as a young girl taught me determination, hard work and resilience. Not only was I able to achieve my dream of playing on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, but it’s given me the confidence to support and advocate for others. I credit sports for fueling my success off the field – first as a mother, and now as an activist for equal pay,” says Jessica McDonald.

McDonald’s fight for equal opportunities for girls in sport, present and future, is showcased in the HBOMax documentary, LFG.

Girls need support and encouragement to stay in the game. That’s why Always is supporting the YMCA to create nationwide programs and curriculums. You can help #KeepHerPlaying by:

  • SUPPORTING the girls you know to stay in sports
  • ENCOURAGING girls to participate in the Girl Up 2021 Leadership Summit on July 13-14, 2021 to hear more about the long term benefits of staying in sports – register for the virtual event here.
  • SHARING how sports helped you by using the Always Instagram template2, tagging @always_brand and #KeepHerPlaying, to trigger a donation to the YMCA – visit @Always_Brand on Instagram for the template.
  • PURCHASING a pack of Always or Tampax at participating retailers, to also trigger a donation to the YMCA.3

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

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