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What did you win by playing sports?



Today, December 8, marks the Rally for Girls’ Sports Day, celebrating the importance of girls in sports and the far-reaching benefits of athletics participation for girls nationwide.

In partnership with the National Women’s Law Center, Girls4Sport is asking women to comment on the question: “What did you win by playing sports?” Tell us what participating in athletics programs meant to you and/or your daughter and how it has affected your lives.

Research has repeatedly shown that participation in sports has many benefits for young women. Participation in sports helps to decrease girls’ chances of becoming obese and developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and breast cancer. Female athletes have higher levels of self-esteem, a lower incidence of depression and a more positive body image than non-athletes. Girls who play sports have higher grades, better test scores, and are less likely to drop out. They also have more opportunities to apply for athletic scholarships, which can help them attend college. Female athletes are also more likely to participate in traditionally male-dominated occupations, which are typically higher paying. In addition, more than four out of five executive businesswomen played sports growing up, and the vast majority reported that the lessons they learned on the playing field contributed to their success in business. By playing sports, girls win more than a game.

The National Women’s Law Center launched the Rally for Girls’ Sports campaign to address the discrimination in athletics that girls still face in high schools nationwide.  The campaign features advocacy and outreach and also includes the filing of administrative complaints against twelve school districts across the country for failing to provide girls with equal opportunities to play sports, in violation of Title IX.



  1. Madelaine says:

    I have been a synchronized swimmer for 13 years, and the benefits of this have been numerous. Just being physically active has helped me reduce stress throughout my academic career, as well as keep me in shape, and develop life-long friendships with other girls who enjoy this sport for the same reasons as I do. Additionally, it has taught me so much about effort, team work, and confidence that have affected so many other aspects of my life. Being involved in sports for so many years has shaped me to person I have become today for which I am grateful for.

  2. Snook says:

    I have been a athlete ever since I did rec soccer in preschool. I have for the past four years(presently in NCAA Division 1) been a competitive rower. It hard work, little glamor, early hours of the day, but I love it. Rowing has been a place I could truly push myself past my limits and discover what I can do. I have made tons of great friends. Also I have gotten to travel across the country and even once to England. It keeps me in shape and goal oriented. Without my practice schedual I dont know if I would be able to get myself to do anything else. Being active is fun and I feel like it helps me feel better about myself and allows many oportunies for self improvemet (mentally and physically). Sports has been a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  3. girls4sport says:

    Bravo to you women making a lifetime of athletic “goodness” I’ll call it. My hope is that every generation of women after us can have the joy and benefits of being active in any endeavor they choose. I come from a time of some sports or activities not considered feminine pursuits for a young girl. I was also told I was too big for gymnastics in fourth grade…. that hurt!

    Being physically confident is such a strength that touches body, mind and soul. Spread the word and passion!

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