Portland, Ore. (KOIN) — By the time they reach 8th grade, girls are 50% more likely to drop out of sports than boys.
That’s listed under The Problem header on gamegrowers.com, and studies back it up.
It’s why the Portland Trail Blazers are partnering with Nike, the WNBA and the rest of the NBA to join the Game Growers program for the second year.
“There’s no surprise there’s not as many opportunities for women or young girls as there are for boys to participate in sports,” said Lindsey Harris, a youth coach with the Rip City Academy who will be mentoring the winners of this year’s Game Growers contest. “The first thing we have to do is create opportunities. This is just another opportunity to get girls involved, get them to live healthy lifestyles and hopefully fall in love with the same game I did.”
Harris played guard for Rhode Island, before playing overseas and beginning her career with the Trail Blazers. She calls basketball her “first love,” and believes wholeheartedly in the impact being involved in sports can have on girls’ lives.
“The opportunities basketball has afforded me in life have been limitless.”
Game Growers is a contest where girls aged 13-14 can apply in pairs to be “co-captains,” or solo as a “teammate”. They submit their ideas of how to keep girls involved in sports. This year the winners will get a chance to attend virtual leadership summits, work 1-on-1 with Lindsey, the Trail Blazers mentor, receive at-home kits that help develop and test their ideas, as well as have the final project showcased by Nike.
Girls interested in applying can go to the Game Growers website to learn more about applying.
The deadline to apply is Friday, December 4th and the winner will be chosen on January 15th.