Initially organized under a different name, the organization was rebranded and trademarked in 2012 and, today, champions girls by uniquely leveraging sport to prepare and equip young women with the leadership skills and competitive spirit essential for success both on the playing field and in the workplace.

Governed by a 13-member volunteer Board of Directors based in Nashville, Tennessee, Play Like a Girl serves more than 1,250 girls and women annually through a variety of programs and events.

Sport Changes Everything.

In 2013, Play Like a Girl launched its first afterschool recreational tennis program with funding from NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and his wife Pat. The program grew to offer everything from flag football and softball to soccer and volleyball. First implemented in Dallas, Texas, the program gained attention nationally, resulting in awards and funding from ESPN, ESPNW and the Women’s Sports Foundation.

In early 2014, we introduced our first-ever collegiate chapter of Play Like a Girl at Fairfield University, where our largest community of young college women replicate our programs with middle school girls in Connecticut. Six additional chapters were chartered at colleges including University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, Bryant University and Queen’s University among others.

In early 2014, we introduced our first-ever collegiate chapter of Play Like a Girl at Fairfield University, where our largest community of young college women replicate our programs with middle school girls in Connecticut. Six additional chapters were chartered at colleges including University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, Bryant University and Queen’s University among others.

Inspiring Play. Unlocking Potential

As a former University professor, Dr. Kim recognized that many of the girls participating in our programs were also academically solid students but were not reaching their full potential in the classroom. So in the summer of 2014, we introduced an experimental camp where girls engaged in hands-on STEM education alongside sports. After the success of that first summer at Google Fiber, we added a spring break camp which was featured on Country music superstar Trisha Yearwood’s Food Network show.

In summer 2019, we announced the program’s expansion to include girls-only STEM clubs and lunch-hour mentoring circles in local schools, industry-led STEM tours/field trips and STEM Saturday makerspace workshops where girls get to ideate, create and test the research design process. The demand for programming continues to grow every year, with hundreds of groups across the country partnering with us to bring Play Like a Girl to girls in their communities. Since inception, we have proudly served over 25,000 girls and women across the United States and Canada, as well as in Africa and the Caribbean.