Always and Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart are teaming up with Olympic gold medal gymnast Laurie Hernandez to encourage everyone to help girls stay in sports. Millions of girls quit sports at puberty, in part because many don’t realize the long-term value of their participation, and therefore, don’t encourage them to keep playing. But the reality is, sports help her develop the confidence and skills she needs to do whatever she’s passionate about in life.
That’s why Always and Walmart have donated $250,000 to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) to help girls stay in sports, and the public can help double the impact. For every view of the #KeepHerPlaying video on Walmart.com/always through Jan. 31, Always and Walmart will donate an additional $1, up to a potential total donation of half a million dollars.
An engaged support system plays a critical role in ensuring girls feel encouraged to stay in sports. It helps girls realize that sports are important in building life skills and helps them stay motivated, even when the going gets tough. That’s why Always and Walmart have enlisted Hernandez to rally everyone to help keep girls in sports. To help, they have developed tip sheets on Walmart.com/always that share practical advice on ways parents and coaches can support girls to keep playing, along with some special tips straight from Hernandez to girls themselves.
“Throughout my athletic career, my parents’ support has meant the world to me. They’ve kept me going in the moments where I wanted to give up and have helped me zoom out and see how sports would benefit me long after my Olympic run,” Hernandez said. “I want all girls to feel the support I have always felt, so they are inspired to become who they want to be. This is why I’m excited to team up with Always and Walmart to help #KeepHerPlaying. Together, we can help keep more girls playing, feeling confident and striving for a better future.”
Research has shown that girls benefit heavily from sports, with leadership, confidence and teamwork as three of the top benefits reported. This is especially important now, with more than 1 in 3 young people feeling less confident as a result of missing out on after-school activities, like sports, since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Always and Walmart are on a mission to help girls feel supported and confident to keep playing.
Always and Walmart are making a donation to the Women’s Sports Foundation to help girls all over the country stay in the sports that keep them confident. The foundation’s mission is to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. Through its grants, fellowships, research, advocacy and curricula, WSF has positively shaped the lives of millions of girls through sports. Always’ contribution will help to increase their impact even more.
“Always has been committed to championing girls’ confidence for more than 35 years, and this is especially important now. We know the transformative power sports can have in unleashing that confidence, and that is why we want to help,” says Hesham Tohamy, SVP of feminine care at Procter & Gamble. “Always has been working with Walmart for more than four years to help girls thrive through our Live #LikeAGirl and #EndPeriodPoverty programs. This time, we are uniting forces again to rally everyone to encourage the girls in their life to keep playing. Their participation leads to developing the skills and confidence needed to do anything they put their mind to. Ultimately, it’s not how far she gets in sports, but how far sports can take her.”