At Plan International Canada, we strongly believe in the power of girls, and strive to see a world where they are equally represented on all levels of the playing field, including the baseball field! That is exactly why we have partnered with the Jays Care Foundation to support the Girls At Bat program to show the world that with the right support and training, girls are able to succeed and thrive in all sports.
In Canada and around the world, young girls are often bombarded with harmful stereotypes and pressures that discourage them from pursuing their dreams. This is especially true in the athletic world. Only 59% of girls between the ages of 3 and 17 participate in sports, and only 16% of adult women participate in sports . If a girl has not participated in an organized sport by the age of 10, there is only a 10% chance she will be a physically active adult.
What is Girls At Bat?
Girls At Bat is a girls-only baseball program that works to combat negative stereotypes and empower girls with the courage to take a risk and try and something new. Through specialized coaching and training, female coaches and girls gain both skills and valuable experience. On the baseball field, the program provides a wide range of training including baseball skills, team-building exercises, and personal health education.
It has been proven time and time again that when girls are empowered through physical activity, it impacts them for the rest of their lives. Regular exercise allows girls to become healthier through building strong bones, promoting a healthy weight, and developing important habits that will benefit them in the future. Not only is it physically beneficial, but it allows girls to develop their self-confidence and sense of purpose. Physical activity has been proven to reduce stress, improve sleep, and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Girls at Bat understands the importance of girls improving their health and developing their own self worth and self esteem simultaneously.
“The Girls At Bat program is exactly what every young girl needs in life.”
– Female Leader, Kingston Boys and Girls Club
What is the Impact?
Across the country, enthusiastic and passionate young women have been trained to take on the exciting role of leading the program, and make a positive difference in the lives of young girls in their communities. Teams have been created in a diverse range of communities across Canada including Kingston,ON, London, ON, and Indian Head, SK. Twenty six female leaders have been trained and have started to lead programs and teams in their cities.
During each training, female leaders run a clinic for girls in the community who are interested in becoming a part of the Girls At Bat program. Girls receive the opportunity to participate in fun and engaging activities to get a feel for what the program would be like. So far, these clinics have been extremely successful and have left 100% of girls feeling prepared and excited to participate again in the future.
Girls At Bat is having a real and lasting impact on the lives of girls and young women across Canada. Together, we can ensure that all girls feel safe, supported, and ready to take on any challenge thrown at them!
“This is an amazing program where girls are encouraged to be themselves, learn new skills and be active in a safe space.”
– Female Leader, London Boys and Girls Club
This post was written by Diviya, a member of our Speakers Bureau and leader of a Champions of Change Club! Thank you Diviya for spreading the word about Girls At Bat.
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Donate to the Because I am a Girl fund to provide girls around the world with opportunities to empower themselves and their communities.