Through sports, boys and girls can learn important life skills that apply both on and off the field – however, a significant gender equity gap still exists in youth sports. Whether they lack confidence or access to performance solutions or safe places to play, according to a recent report from the Women’s Sports Foundation, girls have roughly 1 million fewer opportunities to participate in sport than the 4.5 million opportunities boys have today. While they may grow up participating and interested in sports, many girls drop out between the ages of 8-12.
This is especially prevalent in Philadelphia, where according to an ABC analysis, many schools lag behind with their percentage of female athletes based on their overall student and athlete populations. To begin tackling this problem, Under Armour hosted an interactive experience in Philadelphia on October 22 called “Hype Headquarters” to get young female athletes excited about continuing their sports journeys and help them find the confidence needed to compete at the highest level out on the field or the court.
Hype Headquarters is just one piece of Under Armour’s larger Access to Sport commitment to break down barriers and create opportunities for millions of youth to engage in sport. Through this event and future efforts, the brand has committed to increasing equity in sport by providing more youth athletes with game-changing product solutions. This event kicks off a multi-year initiative designed to help 1,200 young female athletes during its first year.
The experience featured a variety of confidence-building exercises and activities – from the ‘Tunnel of Positivity’ where the athletes could walk through a hall of encouragement and inspiring words, to the ‘Push Play’ session where attendees picked out the walkout song that is guaranteed to hype them up and get their head in the game. And of course, the girls couldn’t leave the event without picking out their favorite Under Armour performance solutions to help them look and feel their best.
Under Armour athletes Rachel Garcia, professional softball player for the US National Team, and Ariel Belgrave, health and fitness coach, also participated in the activities – joining the group outside for stretching, drills and games, in addition to talking 1:1 with the girls to share their own personal struggles and triumphs as female athletes, as well as their advice on how to be your own biggest hype (wo)man.
To reach even more young female athletes, Under Armour partnered with Leveling the Playing Field to donate 400 Girls Crossback Sports Bra to youth athletes in need, each one representing a participant that walked through the doors of Hype Headquarters. The Girls Crossback Sports Bra delivers superior support for female athletes so that when they’re out on the court or the field, all they have to worry about is their game.
"This past weekend at Hype Headquarters was a perfect example of the work underway at Under Armour to support young female athletes. It's such a privilege every day to connect with female athletes to listen to their problems and needs and be able to create performance solutions to make them feel their best, feel empowered and feel driven to succeed."
Senior Product Manager
Under Armour is passionate about helping young athletes unlock their edge and empowering them on their journey to compete. Through the Access to Sport commitment and initiatives like Hype Headquarters, the brand is fueling self-confidence in athletes at a young age so that they can forge their own path to greatness and embrace the journey to become the athlete no one saw coming.