LA Sparks Partner with Nike to Help Grow Sport for Girls in Los Angeles

The second season of Game Growers tips off with the opportunity for even more 13-year-old girls across the country to help their peers play – and love – sports

 LOS ANGELES  – The LA Sparks take sport for girls seriously and are proud to announce a partnership with Nike, the WNBA and NBA for Season Two of Game Growers, a unique and empowering opportunity for girls 13 years or older in seventh or eighth grade to share their ideas on how to encourage more girls to play sports.

The LA Sparks are one of 38 teams participating in the second season of the program. Applications will be accepted from Oct. 11 through Dec. 4 for two Co-Captains, who will lead the development of an idea to grow sports for girls. The Sparks Game Growers team will develop and test their idea, creating a Game Plan to grow sports participation for girls right here in Los Angeles.  New this season will be the addition of Game Growers Teammates, who are girls 13 years or older in seventh or eighth grade who support Co-Captains on their journey.

“Nike believes that girls who move, move the world. And we know that 13 is a critical age to keep girls engaged in sport so they can reap the benefits of being active,” said Caitlin Morris, General Manager of Social & Community Impact at NIKE, Inc. “This is the age when girls are likely to drop out of sport  – a lack of supportive coaches or access to the right product to play with confidence are two of many reasons why. Inclusive, community-based programs like Game Growers connect girls to play and sport and provide them with the opportunity to shape the future of the game for other girls, too.”

By age 14, girls are dropping out of sport at twice the rate of boys. According to a 2018 study from the Women’s Sports Foundation, nearly 40 percent of girls don’t participate in sport, versus 25 percent of boys. Game Growers girls are already playing sports. By participating in the program, they not only have the potential for their ideas to get more girls playing, they also have the chance to grow their own leadership potential by developing ideas that make a difference in their community and having their voice heard.

In 2019, the Sparks were one of the teams involved with the inaugural Game Growers program. Athletes Samantha Tung and Sabrina De Leon were chosen for the project. Tung and De Leon noticed some of their peers lacked confidence to play sports, especially with their male peers. They focused their project on researching the benefits of increased participation and growing sport for girls, including a year-round camp for girls ages 8-12 exposing them to all sports.

“I plan on encouraging young girls to play sports and to teach them the benefits it can provide for their future,” Tung said after completing the program. “I want to help them get noticed by the world and prove that girls can do it too. All the things boys can do girls can too, sometime seven better.”

Game Growers Timeline

  • Girls can join the Game Growers Season Two Launch virtual event on Oct. 11 at 12 p.m. PDT. The experience will feature trainers and Nike athletes who are encouraging even more girls to join this year to help increase girls sport participation.
  • After the virtual launch event, girls can visit GameGrowers.com to sign-up. Applications for both Co-Captains and Teammates will be open from Oct. 11until Dec. 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST at www.gamegrowers.com.
  • Game Growers participants will be notified by Jan.15, 2021 and will earn a chance to develop their ideas to get more girls playing sports.
  • These ideas – known as the Game Growers Game Plans – will be shared on the website in Spring 2021.


Season One Success

Game Growers projects in Season One embodied five key themes, which collectively create a sport  environment where girls are included, valued and supported:

·       CREATE CONNECTION: Promote teamwork, community and skill-building through sport without the need for a “winner.”

·       BRAVE, NOT PERFECT: Build and instill confidence by learning the fundamentals of the game through compassion, creativity and risk-taking.

·       GIRL CHECK: Empower girls to get involved through programs that focus on female mentorship and girls-only camps.

·       LET HER COMPETE: Create diverse opportunities, including multi-sport clinics, co-ed and mixed-age group events, that empower girls to free their competitive drive.

·       PROGRESS, NOT OUTCOMES: Support girls as they find ways to access resources that will break down barriers over time.