Photo: Screenshot from gamegrowers.com.

Brooklyn Nets and Nike are teaming up for a second year to give two girls in New York City the chance to develop and lead a program to keep other girls their age playing sport.

The Game Growers program, which was launched last year, gives girls in the seventh or eighth grade who are older than 13 the opportunity to take on sports leadership roles in their communities.

Two applicants will be selected to develop an idea that grows sports participation for girls in their communities, and they will serve as co-captains of the Net’s Game Growers team. During the program they will work alongside Nike and the team to create a plan to implement and test their idea.

“Nike believes that girls who move, move the world,” Caitlin Morris, general manager of Social & Community Impact at NIKE, Inc, said. “And we know that 13 is a critical age to keep girls engaged in sport so they can reap the benefits of being active.”

Morris added 13 was the age girls were most likely to drop out of sport, often because of a lack of supportive coaches or access to the right products to play with confidence. She said inclusive, community-based programs like Game Growers connected girls to play sport and provided them with the opportunity to shape the future of sports involvement for other young girls.

By 14, girls drop out of sport at twice the rate of boys and according to a 2018 study by the Women’s Sports Foundation nearly 40% of girls don’t participate in sport, compared to 25% of boys.

Mandy Gutmann, senior vice president of Communications and Community Relations at BSE Global (Brooklyn Nets’ parent company), said the team was proud to partner with Nike in a program that reached girls at such a pivotal point in their engagement with sport.

“I know firsthand the crucial role that sports can play in developing core life skills such as resilience, teamwork, and confidence, and we hope this program inspires the next generation of female leaders both on and off the court.”

This year, girls who miss out on being co-captains have the chance to be selected as Game Growers Teammates. These girls will have the opportunity to support co-captains on the development and implementation of their plan.

To learn more or apply for the program visit www.GameGrowers.com

Applications are currently open and will be accepted until midnight Dec. 4. Game Growers participants will be selected and notified by Jan. 15, 2021.

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