--By Laila Ali
My family has a long tradition of sports and being active, and I’m excited about continuing that tradition with my children. For me, it’s about so much more than competition! The lessons I learned through sports have carried over into all aspects of my life and made me a stronger woman in the many roles I play as a wife, mom and business woman.
Research demonstrates that sports and being active positively affect everything from a child’s physical and emotional well-being to academic performance and the likelihood of going on to college. Unfortunately, too many girls are inactive and at greater risk for obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and other serious diseases. Now, more than ever, sports, health and education programs are needed.
I’m committed to helping ensure women, from elite athletes to young girls, have a chance to get involved. Through my work with the Women’s Sports Foundation, I have the opportunity to shape initiatives for the organization that help advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity. One initiative that’s making a world of difference is the award-winning GoGirlGo! program. Women’s Sports Foundation’s GoGirlGo! supports parents, leaders and organizations who want to help girls become physically active. The educational materials feature the stories of champion athletes and celebrities, and use sports to teach life lessons on a variety of topics, like bullying, emotional stress, body image, eating disorders, weight, alcohol and drug use. All of which are barriers to raising healthy, active and confident girls.
Please join me and get in the game in support of girls’ and women’s sports, and get behind programs like GoGirlGo! that are making a difference. There’s never been a better time than now to take the challenge, as we kick off the 40th anniversary year of Title IX, which ensures equal access to both men and women in federally-funded educational programs and activities, including sports programs.
Unleash your inner athlete and help to set girls and women in motion by making a commitment -- for you or a girl in your life. Get Your Game On!
World Champion Athlete Laila Ali is the President of the Women’s Sports Foundation and mother of two. For more information, visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org or em>www.facebook.com/WomensSportsFoundation.
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