We thought we would start off this week with a little more information about why we do what we do. Everyone loves a good backstory, and here’s ours. Please comment and let us know why YOU do what you do – let’s inspire each other!
Girls on the Infield started as a policy in my primary and middle school PE classes. I was teaching an international group of mostly Asian students, the majority of which had never played – or even seen – the game of baseball or softball before. At first, there were a lot of mix-ups: running to third base, two players on second, overthrows at first – you get the picture. They were primary school and middle school students, playing a game for the first time, and it was a fun learning process for all of us (including myself).
Students who didn’t know the game well were likely to stand in the outfield, where there was minimal action, less engagement, and only a slim chance for embarrassment. We created a rule: students could not play the same position twice. It meant that they had to try everything, including crucial positions in the infield (1B, 2B, SS, and Pitcher). There was some resistance and faux apathy at first, but after I explained the importance of them getting a chance to try new things, those same resistant students embraced the idea and became engaged in the game.
Of course, these students still made mistakes, but they also made some plays, got some outs, and hit the ball, not to mention, they had a lot of fun. Any ballpark disputes were quickly settled by a game of “rock, paper scissors”, and students gained confidence which fueled their daily lives.
Our goal is to introduce students, scientists, artists, and all-around cool people, to girls around the world who need someone to look up to and encourage our followers to TRY, to ENGAGE, and DO NOT BE AFRAID to play On The Infield!
-James, President of Big Ideas
I’ll admit, when James came to me with the idea to quit our jobs and start a nonprofit organization, I wasn’t quite on board. He’s my brother, so I followed his crazy idea and lent my expertise when needed, by designing a logo, writing the social media plan, and researching “how to start a nonprofit when you have no idea how to start a nonprofit”.
We began our first campaign, “100 Girls on the Infield”, in which we profiled 100 awesome women and girls who are doing cool things int their community – many, despite less than ideal circumstances. One of the cool young ladies we profiled was Zoe, the defensive tackle featured in the documentary series on Netflix, Friday Night Tykes.
Soon after our blog was published, comments rolled in from Zoe’s friends and family.
“Zoe committed to the season of football, and learned a value lesson to follow her for a lifetime! #proudfamily #letshearitforthegirl”
“Thank you, Girls on the Infield for the awesome write up. A friend sent this to me via email…we had no clue about this story. In true Zoe fashion she smiled once she saw this article, she is beyond grateful and humbled that you thought of her. Zoe is doing well and is now training for her first season of club volleyball. She hope that her story will continue to uplift girls to pursue their dreams and not be discouraged by what society feels girls should be, look, feel and/or think etc.”
When we began, our goal was to inspire girls and women throughout the world – and if we’ve done that with Zoe, and encouraged her to keep being awesome and pursue her wildest dreams, then we’ve done our job!
-Christina, Director of Marketing & Best Sister Ever
When I was in elementary school in China, we were encouraged to play sports. In fact, P.E class used to be my favorite class! I even joined the volleyball team at my school and loved to play. When I got to high school, it seemed as though parents and teachers wanted me to focus less on P.E. and more on my studies, so that I could lead a successful life. A lot of students at my school had to drop out of P.E. or sports activities, and it was sad seeing them quit an activity they loved.
When I met my now husband James, he was a P.E. teacher at an international school. I saw him teach in an “American” style, and it was so different from what I was used to. For once, students were encouraged to play as many sports as possible and to try new things and I realized we need to encourage this more!
-Marina, Accountant & Human Calculator
By the Numbers
What we know:
- By age 14, girls are dropping out of sports at TWO times the rate of boys
- Girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have
- Girls can learn important life skills through sports such as teamwork, leadership and self-confidence
- More than 75% of working women feel that participation in sports helped improve their self-image
- Girls who play sports are also more likely to be healthy and less likely to get into trouble than girls who don’t play sports
- Source: www.womenssportsfoundation.org
Here’s what we can do:
- Encourage girls and women to participate in sports and healthy activities
- Help girls and women get professionally trained and achieve their sports and career dreams
- Lead YOUR life with a positive attitude and always be a role model for other people.
What we need:
- Support girls in sports and increase investment in girls sports
- Promote girls and women in sports, science, arts, and tech!
- Finally, please help spread the word about Girls on the Infield and other nonprofit organizations who are doing similar work. Like our Facebook page, share our upcoming events, and send us YOUR observations. We love hearing from YOU!