In Los Angeles, Play Academy will partner with organizations that support young girls’ participation in play and sport, especially those from Black, Asian and Latino communities. The Expression of Interest from organizations is now open (Click here to learn more). The first group of partners will be announced later this summer. In Haiti, Play Academy is partnering with GOALS Haiti, a grassroots organization working to advance youth leadership through soccer and education to create stronger, healthier communities in rural Haiti. The funding will specifically be applied to sport accessibility for girls, the hiring of more female coaches and the introduction of nuanced curriculum on how to encourage girls to create positive, healthy habits.
“The beauty of Play Academy is that it reflects all of the communities where Naomi has a personal connection,” says Caitlin Morris, Nike VP, Social & Community Impact. “We share her belief that play is for everyone. Young girls in places like Los Angeles and Haiti may have different social and cultural reasons for why play and sport have been difficult to access, but in the end, they all need an opportunity to play – as well as authentic role models like Naomi, who fully embrace who they are and what they believe in.”
Since being selected as part of Play Academy, three Japanese community organizations – the National Council of YMCAs of Japan, Nadeshiko Care and Ryutsu University – have received training to help increase their organizational capabilities and give them a stronger foundation to create lasting change. The training has been focused on the topics of gender inclusivity and child safeguarding, as well as how they monitor, evaluate and report their program’s successes.