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KING celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day

This month at the Olympic Games, the world's attention will be on athletes from all across the globe. With names like Mikaela Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn, Chloe Kim and Aja Evans the United States' women athletes are prepped to make some major noise. On this National Women in Sports Day, we want to celebrate all women in sports from the 3 year old girl signing up for her first soccer class to those Olympians we idolize on TV.

KING's newly formed non-profit KING Kids has teamed up with the National Women in Sports Foundation to provide a 12 week sports-based program based on their GoGirlGo! curriculum. The program will allow us to introduce our core sports (Basketball, Track, Volleyball and Soccer) to girls without access to affordable sports programming as well as teach lessons on leadership, self confidence and living healthy lifestyles.

If you would like to donate to KING Kids GoGirlGo project click here!

Behind every athlete is a team of coaches and supporters that have molded them into not only strong athletes but also strong women. Our goal at KING is to empower all our kids to be trailblazers in their own right. We are lucky to have a team full on women that have been positively impacted by sports and are currently returning the favor. Here are a few of their stories.

Rachel Bender, KING Spikes Head Coach

"I would argue that sports and athletics, for all genders, help to foster a sense of empowerment, body and self awareness, self confidence, self esteem, and purpose.  Sports can also greatly increase one's sense of belonging and ability to relate with their teammates or peers.  Girls are not always given the same opportunities in the classroom and extracurricular activities when compared to male peers.  Additionally, societal gender norms may subtly (or not so subtly) push girls to conform to the way others want them to behave or act.  Being involved in girls sports is one way for girls to develop the skills at a young age to take on various dynamic environments in their futures.

Girls in Sports Week is important because it highlights female achievements in the sports world that may get brushed off or not as often highlighted as compared with their male counterpart achievements.  Girls Athletics is also one safe and welcoming area of their lives that allows and encourages them to foster their competitive spirit and strong personal voices.
 

Tiana Rosa, KING Coach
 
"Being a woman in sports means being absolutely fearless. Personally, I loved playing sports because I loved being a teammate. As long as I had my teammates, I was ready and willing to go to battle. Leaving my best efforts there on the court. Giving my all, no matter the competition is what being a girl in sport is all about."
 

Tatum Boehnke - Director of Community and Impact

"I couldn't imagine my childhood without sports. Every spare moment was filled with soccer, swim, and ski practice for as long as I can remember. Beyond fostering my work ethic, time management skills, and giving me some of my best friends for life, I gained skills that I didn't even realize I had until my adult years. All those years of jumping into a pool at 5 in the morning have molded me into the person I am today and for that I am forever grateful for having the opportunity to be a "girl in sport"."

Alexandra Cosme - KING Coach
"Coaching helps me feel like I'm making a difference in young lives. In a few years, when they're doing something or accomplishing something, they'll be able to think back and say "oh, I know how to do this because coach Alexandra showed me or taught me".

Cara Hudson, Director of People and Culture
 
  "Sports have been my life since I could remember. I grew up with two parents who were amazing athletes, so it was in my genes. Being a woman in sports not only helped me bond with my family (my dad taught me how to throw my first spiral!) but it also helped me learn the concept of a team. Learning at a young age how to work with others and how to strive to be better every day made me who I am today. Being a woman in sports helped me learn that being strong is beautiful and we are just as good as the boys. Young girls should not be afraid to show their strength, not just physically but mentally as well."
 
Amy Dahmen, Coach Across America Coach with Kids in the Game

"When I entered school, I epitomized the term "girly girl". The worst punishment my parents could give me was to tell me I couldn't wear a dress or a skirt to school. I'm not joking - I would beg for them to take away my barbies, take away time playing outside. My resolve about adhering to all of the girly-girl cliches you can imagine coincided with a strong distaste for traditional sports. Anything game that involved a ball or hand-eye coordination wasn't for me. I did, though, love dance and cheerleading - these just didn't factor into the PE that I learned in school. My distaste for sport - or my limited scope of "sport" - only intensified as I got older - I just didn't know what was right for me. It wasn't until college when I was able to take yoga and pilates electives that the fitness game radically changed for me. I had the most incredible teacher, Kelly, who helped me and my peers to find joy in movement; in knowing, stretching and strengthening our bodies. A foundation was laid there that made me re approach sport and fitness. I found a comfort and confidence through exercise that I hadn't known before. Also, having Kelly as a coach inspired me to approach my yoga practice with a new kind of dedication, one that allowed me to laugh at myself and welcome the epic fails of attempted poses. These traits of confidence and gentle, forgiving dedication have been integral in the shaping of my faith, my adult character, and my approach now as a coach. It motivates me so much each day that am instilling these traits in young people who will lead us tomorrow."

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