NASHVILLE, March 1, 2018 — Play Like a Girl announced today the 6 new members of its national Board of Directors, which is stacked with leaders who will help guide the organization’s efforts to keep girls from dropping out of sport and physical activity and grow its Play Like a Girl Clubs program to a broader, national audience in middle schools and community centers over the next five years.

Members of the Play Like a Girl Board of Directors are from national organizations and in markets across the organization’s evolving footprint and bring expertise in a variety of areas — recruiting, project and risk management, for instance, as well as sports marketing and law. They’re tasked with governing the organization’s work and helping to direct the nonprofit towards its goals as outlined in the Play Like a Girl 2022 Strategic Plan and will provide oversight of business and financial opportunities that will help the organization meet its goals and deliver on its mission.

“These women and men are leaders in their respective fields, and all of them are dedicated to serving the unique needs of girls from diverse communities across the U.S.,” said Play Like a Girl President and CEO Dr. Kimberly Clay. “We’re firmly committed to helping girls experience the joy of sport and physical activity at a time when they are forming lifelong habits, and making a difference in communities across our expanding footprint, and the Board of Directors is critical to those efforts.”

According to a study by Ernst Young and ESPNW, 96% of female C-suite executives first found success in sports. For former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it was tennis and basketball among others. For Nashville’s own Trisha Yearwood, it was softball. But according to Gatorade’s recent “Girls in Sports” study, girls are dropping out of sports at nearly twice the rate of boys by age 14 and, by age 17, more than half of girls will quit playing sports altogether.

The majority of young women Gatorade spoke to told them that they decided to drop out of a sport because they didn’t see a future for themselves in it and wanted to prioritize their time on school or other extracurriculars instead. Many girls did not see a way to balance both school and sports — particularly if they didn’t think they’d end up playing professionally — when, in fact, sports are known to help improve girls’ confidence, perseverance and other important skills necessary to succeed academically and professionally.

Play Like a Girl is on a mission to ensure that every girl reaches her full potential by providing girls ages 9-13 access to sport and physical activity. Through its signature program Play Like a Girl Clubs, girls in 6-8th grades are exposed to a sampling of sport and physical activity in a fun and friendly environment with the support of volunteer coaches, teammates and role models.

Club girls also deepen their love of sports and gain exposure to important STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) concepts in sports while learning about exciting sports careers from female professionals at leading businesses and professional sports teams. These experiential learning opportunities are designed to bring out the best in participating girls, allowing them to see the world of possibilities awaiting them beyond the field of play.

The Play Like a Girl National Board of Directors is made up of 23 members, including six new members who serve areas across the organization’s expanded footprint. The new members are:

  • Celeste Bell, Senior Director, Recruiting and Special Projects, MLB Advanced Media
  • Adrienne Jordan, Director, Project and Risk Management, Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee
  • Shiloh London, Executive Director, California Grocers Association Educational Foundation
  • Leigh Lovett, Associate Brand Manager, Mars Petcare US
  • Sara Toussaint, Vice President, Sponsorship Marketing, Wells Fargo
  • Daniel Werly, Esq., Managing Partner, Sievert Werly

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