It’s no secret that there aren’t enough girls participating in sports, especially basketball. Despite gains like Title IX, girls are often not given equal opportunity and encouragement to pursue athletics. Many schools do not even offer separate boys and girls basketball teams until high school, limiting the opportunity for girls to get involved in organized sports at a young age.
The YW-UFT Extended Day Program has teamed up with DYCD and NIKE to ensure that girls have equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from organized sports, through the formation of a girls basketball team and participation in the Beacon NIKE Tournament.
The free tournament, which runs March through June, gives children a chance to learn basic basketball skills, participate in a well known tournament, and to practice with and learn from college basketball players. Through the tournament students also learn the value of teamwork, setting goals, an active lifestyle, and are provided equal access to participating in school athletics. “I’m glad we are getting a chance to play” says Uliyah, a 4th grader in the YW’s Extended Day Program. “I always liked to play basketball and it’s really important to me. We’re learning all kinds of things like shooting and defense.”
The team has already received their uniforms, courtesy of NIKE, and is preparing for their first game in April!