The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Clinton Foundation are joining forces to shine a spotlight on the disparities between girls’ and boys’ physical activity rates and inspire a new generation of strong, active women.
Girls today in the United States are far less likely than boys to achieve recommended amounts of physical activity. By age 14, girls are dropping out of sports at two times the rate of boys.
Building on the on-going conversation about the importance of girls’ and women’s health and leadership, with particular attention to fitness and physical activity, the #GirlsAre campaign will ask girls and women across the country to demonstrate the myriad ways girls show their strength using the #GirlsAre hashtag. Examples include – #GirlsAre Strong, #GirlsAre Fierce, #GirlsAre Bold, #GirlsAre Runners, #GirlsAre Dancers, #GirlsAre Leaders, and #GirlsAre Fearless.
“Between the ages of 6 and 17, the total number of minutes girls participate in vigorous physical activity drops by 86 percent, providing fewer opportunities for girls to get healthy, be healthy, and feel confident and empowered,” says Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation and Board Member of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “This sharp decline is staggering and absolutely preventable – and we must work to do all we can to support more opportunities for girls to engage in meaningful and fun physical activity throughout childhood and adolescence.”
The #GirlsAre campaign will launch Sunday, May 8 (Mother’s Day) and run through May 31, coinciding with National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. Visitors to the campaign website, www.girlsare.org, can find tools to raise awareness of this important issue, take interactive quizzes, and add their own #GirlsAre adjective to join the nationwide conversation.
“The research tells us that the benefits girls gain from being physically active go beyond improvements in their physical health – there also are tremendous benefits to their psychological health and academic performance,” says Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation working to empower kids to develop lifelong healthy habits.
“Regular physical activity is an important part of improving and maintaining overall health,” says Rain Henderson, CEO of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation. “Girls who are physically active reduce their risk of chronic diseases like obesity and boost their overall fitness and mental health. In short – girls who feel better will do better!”
“In order to ensure full participation for girls, we must provide them with the tools, support, and encouragement to build strong minds and healthy bodies, as well as to develop individual and team leadership skills,” says Terri McCullough, CEO of No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation. “We are thrilled that so many leaders in health, sports, and girls’ empowerment have joined our effort with #GirlsAre.”
The #GirlsAre campaign is bringing together more than 45 companies, media partners, non-profit organizations, and celebrity voices to inspire a new generation of strong, active women. Campaign partners include A World Fit for Kids, Action for Healthy Kids, After School Alliance, America Scores, American College of Sports Medicine, American Heart Association, Athlete Ally, Baseball for All, BOOST Collaborative, Cage Cricket USA, Changing the Game Project, Childhood Obesity 180, DC Scores, Figure Skating in Harlem, FLAG (Football League All Girls), GENYOUth, Girls Inc., Girls Leadership Institute, Girls Play Sports, UN Foundation's Girl Up, GO! Athletes, Lakeshore Foundation, Laureus Sports for Good Foundation, Let’s Move! Active Schools, Lower Eastside Girls Club, National Afterschool Association, National Center for Health, Physical Activity, and Disability, National Double Dutch League, National Recreation and Parks Association, National Women’s Law Center, OrganWise Guys, Play Like a Girl, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Safe Routes to School, Salud Today, She’s the First, Sportime featuring SPARK, Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation, The First Tee, Tony Hawk Foundation, US Soccer Foundation, Voices for Healthy Kids, Woman’s Day, You Can Play, and Young Women’s Leadership Network.