We are just scratching the surface of why sports and physical activity can make a difference.
In 2015, Canada hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup. In addition to showcasing some of the world’s best athletes at one of the biggest sporting events on the planet, it offered the perfect opportunity to talk about why girls’ sports matter. That is why Equal Play was launched in 2014: to join and lead that conversation. Our efforts have been ongoing since. In 2019, we became a registered charity.
The reasons girls play sports are at least as numerous as the reasons boys play sports. Think about them for a minute. Now, factor in all the additional global challenges faced by girls and women: rape, teen pregnancy, genital mutilation, domestic violence, economic neglect, limited educational opportunities, discriminatory laws, the absence of representation in political matters. We are just scratching the surface of challenges facing girls — and why sports and physical activity can make a difference.
A girl who plays sports gains confidence in her body. She learns to connect with the people around her and to be empowered through her efforts. She learns she can set and accomplish goals and take on leadership roles. She’ll make healthy choices for herself that may help steer her away from abusing alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and from participating in crimes or joining a gang. The confidence she gains may help her make smarter decisions in other parts of her life. She’ll become a positive role model for her children, if she chooses to be a parent. Female athletes become fantastic employees, managers and business owners because they understand the values that drive sports: commitment, integrity, cooperation and overcoming adversity.
Given the intrinsic zest stimulated in their bodies while playing sports and having fun, female athletes are more likely to be creative and intelligent. They appreciate the environment and make wise dietary choices because they are in tune with themselves. They are less likely to be overweight. They are just as sexy as the Beckhams and Ronaldos we all pay millions to watch. Beside the odd broken bone, bruise or sprain, they are mentally tough. They don’t need to search for happiness because they are happy.
This is what Equal Play is all about, as summarized in our mission statement: creating positive changes for girls and women on and off the field. We hope to do more of that in the years to come.
Hope and Inspiration
The Women’s World Cup gives hope and inspiration to girls and women globally, because it offers a rare chance for women to strive to be their best on the world’s biggest stage. As more girls and women become aware of the World Cup and the power of sport, it sends a message that they too are important and they can achieve the dreams they aspire to in their own life — on or off a soccer field.