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The initiative continues the club’s commitment to impacting the DMV community through sport and service
Washington, D.C. (07/24/2023) – The Washington Spirit will once again join forces with Leveling the Playing Field (LPF) to collect sports equipment for underserved women and girls in the DMV region this summer, this time in conjunction with team partner CVS Health, the club announced today.
Continuing its 2022 initiative, as part of the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Nationwide Community Impact Program, the Spirit, CVS Health and LPF aim to promote women’s and girls’ participation in sports by working to eliminate a common reason for discontinued participation: a lack of available equipment. The club will donate and collect donations of new sports bras at three home matches to be distributed to local young women and girls this season. Fans can bring donations to the Spirit’s July 28, August 27 and September 30 matches at Audi Field.
“Our work with LPF to promote sport participation among young girls and women is a key community initiative for the Spirit,” said President of Business Operations Emma May. “After the success of this equipment drive last season, we’re thrilled to join forces with CVS Health and LPF to keep her playing.”
LPF was founded in 2013 with the purpose of addressing the growing inequity in sport participation due to equipment-related barriers to entry. The gap between those who can afford to participate in sports regularly and those who cannot continues to widen, and LPF aims to correct that. With this sports bra drive, LPF is focused on addressing gendered sports participation inequities, as a large proportion of young women stop playing sports much earlier than young men due to the inaccessibility of proper sports equipment like sports bras.
“On behalf of the entire LPF team, we are incredibly excited to partner with the Washington Spirit and CVS Health in such a meaningful way this season,” said LPF Director of Operations Kaitlin Brennan. “Even with the incredible progress that over 50 years of Title IX has made, girls from under-resourced communities continue to face additional barriers just to step on the field. With the continued support of the Washington Spirit and CVS Health in collecting new sports bras, local girls in need will have increased access to play and stay in youth sports.”
This year, five Washington Spirit players will take active roles in the sports bra drive as the club’s investment and involvement in its local community continue to grow each season. Last year, the Spirit’s Ashley Hatch, Anna Heilferty, Andi Sullivanand Gaby Vincent took part in the initiative, campaigning for donations and speaking to local groups of young girls in the area.
During last year’s campaign, the Spirit and LPF oversaw donations of more than 10,000 new sports bras to underserved girls in the local DC area. The sports bras were presented to students at Excel Academy, an all-girls public school in southeast DC’s Barry Farm neighborhood, last October. Students were also educated on the positive impacts of leadership and confidence through sport participation and were able to speak with current Washington Spirit players about their own experiences playing sports.
“We are proud to expand our sponsorship with the Washington Spirit to increase access to the sports equipment necessary for healthy activities,” said Melissa Schulman, senior vice president of Government and Public Affairs at CVS Health. “CVS Health is excited to support the great work Leveling the Playing Field does giving young girls and women the chance to play and learn the positive life lessons of sport.”
More information on LPF’s initiative and how to contribute is available here.
About The Washington Spirit
The Washington Spirit is the professional women’s soccer team based at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. Launched in 2012, the Spirit plays in the National Women’s Soccer League, the premier women’s soccer competition in North America. For more information about the Spirit, visit WashingtonSpirit.com and follow the club on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
About CVS Health
CVS Health® is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues – including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health – whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.
About Leveling the Playing Field
Leveling the Playing Field was founded in 2013 in response to the growing inequity between those that can afford to play sports and those that cannot, and the prominent role the cost of sporting goods has played in that gap. Leveling the Playing Field’s core mission is to redistribute equipment to expand access and equity within youth sports and recreation programs in under-resourced communities. With locations in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, Leveling the Playing Field has collected and redistributed over $12.5 million worth of sports equipment to over 1,800 unique schools, sports leagues, and other programs serving kids in need.