Girls in the Game (GIG) is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago that engages school-aged girls in sports programming to develop their health, leadership, and life skills. The organization’s mission is to help girls find their strength and build their confidence. GIG’s programs are offered at little-to-no cost to the girls and their families, and the program provides transportation to offsite locations when possible. In doing so, Girls in the Game seeks to make their services available to all girls, regardless of their financial circumstances.
Studies estimate that only 24.6 percent of girls from low-income homes are currently participating in sports. Girls in the Game hopes to change this disparity by creating accessible, safe spaces that facilitate comfort, confidence, and fun. GIG’s programs use a Sports-Based Youth Development (SBYD) model, which prioritizes social and emotional development over athletic and competitive training. The organization’s ultimate goal is to help raise girls who are happy, healthy, and strong, extending the impact of its programs beyond the walls of a gym or classroom.
The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will support GIG’s After School and Teen Club programs at Dyett High School and Reavis Elementary School. For both programs, GIG will use a multi-sport framework where girls learn traditional sports such as basketball, as well as nontraditional activities like yoga. The curriculum and program design align with trauma-informed practices and include lessons on emotional, sexual, and mental health. Program participants will also take part in workshops focused on leadership development and discussions of topics like conflict resolution, teamwork, and advocacy. Additionally, each week, coaches and girls will celebrate an “Athlete of the Week” who is recognized for her teamwork skills, effort, and commitment. The After School program will reach approximately 20 girls who will participate in two 10-week long sessions, held weekly starting in January 2024. At the end of the After School program, participants will be invited to Girls in the Game’s Sports and Leadership Summer Camp. GIG will provide transportation to the site, removing a barrier which often prevents girls from participating. The Teen Club will support 10 to 15 girls in small groups during school hours, once a week for two 12-week-long sessions.
Girls are powerful agents for change in Chicagoland communities and beyond, but they need support to develop their strengths, confidence, and capabilities. With support from the Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund, Girls in the Game will address this need through girl-centered programs. In the long-term, Girls in the Game hopes to build up the next generation of self-sustaining women leaders.
For more information about Girls in the Game, please visit the organization’s website and social media pages: