USA Field Hockey Awarded 2019 Sports 4 Life Grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW

June 12, 2019, 4:30 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  - June 12, 2019 - USA Field Hockey is pleased to announce that the organization has received a Sports 4 Life grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and espnW. The Sports 4 Life initiative, cofounded by the Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW, supports programs that help girls in four foundational areas - leadership, self-esteem, confidence and perseverance - with the expectation that growth in these areas will also support girls’ physical and emotional health and academic success.

“We are ecstatic to receive the Sport 4 Life grant from the Women’s Sport Foundation and their partner, espnW.” said Jenna Ortega, USA Field Hockey’s Sport Development Manager. “With this grant we can specifically focus on increasing playing opportunities for African American and Hispanic girls and continue to work toward creating an inclusive playing field for all.”

The Women’s Sports Foundation and espnW created Sport 4 Life in 2014. Inspiration for the initiative was drawn from the knowledge that while sports participation offers tremendous life-long benefits, from improved physical health and self-esteem, to better grades in school and enhanced leadership skills, young girls of color are disproportionately excluded. The 2019 class of Sports 4 Life community partners consists of 50 organizations in 27 states across the country, encompassing 44 traditional and non-traditional sports reaching more than 11,000 middle and high school girls.

“The Women’s Sports Foundation believes that all girls - regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ability, zip code or family income - deserve equal access to the lifelong, transformative benefit of sports,” said Deborah Antoine, CEO of the WSF. “We’re thrilled to see the exciting diversity of this year’s class - from adaptive skiing to karate, lacrosse to roller derby, tumbling to wheelchair tennis - all creating wonderful opportunities for girls of color to shine and thrive. We’re so proud of this initiative, our partnership with espnW, and the truly impactful work of our community partners.”

Since the initiative’s inception, Sports 4 Life has awarded more than 250 grants totaling more than $1.6 million and reaching approximately 60,000 girls nationally. Half of the girls reached by Sports 4 Life programming were not previously participating in sports with regularity, and nearly all girls were interested in continuing sports after participating in Sports 4 Life funded programs. Further, with WSF’s support, the 2019 community partners have been particularly successful in increasing opportunities for girls of color: more than 90 percent of girl participants identify as African American or Hispanic.

“We know that sports can help dramatically change the lives of young girls by building leadership skills, developing self-esteem, and experiencing the power of teamwork,” said Laura Gentile, ESPN Senior Vice President, Marketing. “The espnW team, and ESPN at large, are so proud of the program. In the five years since this program began, it has made a significant impact by serving more than 60,000 girls, changing their lives in a powerful way. With the Women’s Sports Foundation we are making important strides in addressing the disparities that continue to exist for girls in sports today.”

“espnW is excited to continue our collaboration with the Women’s Sports Foundation on the Sports 4 Life program,” said Alison Overholt, Editor in Chief, ESPN The Magazine and espnW at ESPN. “Our espnW storytelling team gives voice to women and girls in sports, sharing their stories of achievement with the world – we love seeing how powerfully these girls’ stories are changed as a direct result of Sports 4 Life.”

A full list of 2019 Sport 4 Life grant recipients can be found by clicking here.

For more information on how to grow the game in your community, contact sportdevelopment@usafieldhockey.