By Sophia D. of Friends Academy
Friends Academy has announced that they are going to be partnering with Under Armour and BSN to be one of 25 schools in the country to be a part of their Women of Will (WoW) program to help celebrate and recognize female student athletes and sports teams.
The Women of Will program was first started in 2018 by Under Armour and BSN to help sponsor and support female student athletes to surmount stigma and society’s expectations for women in sports. WoW is about exploring the inequality of high school sports and trying to empower young girls and coaches to strive to inspire the next generation for fairness and greatness in their field. The members of the WoW program will receive support from Under Armour and BSN to create service projects to help delegate female sports at our school and in our area.
Along with this program comes lessons with free curriculum and webinars to help navigate challenges such as mental and physical health and expectations. In addition, leadership skills are provided to help boost confidence to aid athletic performance.
The Women of Will program will help create a safe, comfortable environment and community of fellow female student athletes to voice their experiences with sexism and come together to collaborate to help put an end to this constant struggle; the goal is for each young girl to strive to have the best opportunities in any sport without worry. Under Armour and BSN will sponsor these schools through social media exposure, giving them a stage and spotlight to show off female athletes skills in their respective sports, as well as their service projects for the WoW program.
Inequality in women’s sports has always been a recurring topic in our society. It was revealed after the 2019 Olympics that the Women’s US National soccer team was being paid only one quarter of what the Men’s US National team was making despite being more successful and having a higher winning percentage. In an act of protest, the members of the women’s team filed a wage discrimination act against women’s soccer. With the women’s team winning the lawsuit, gaining $24 million dollars going to funding for the team, the protest started a national celebration of women in all sports. Ever since then, the Woman of Will program has been gaining more momentum and popularity with additional schools participating every year.
This year, Friends Academy has been invited to join the Women of Will program to be their 25th school in the country to be a part of their cause. To reward the schools and athletes as a part of this initiative, Woman of Will will be giving out awards annually to schools and specific athletes- such as the Senior award and the Hall of Fame award – from Under Armour and BSN respectively. These awards recognize the hard work that schools and specific athletes have put in to try and make a difference through this program, as well as exceptional athletes who deserve to be recognized for their skill and success in their sport in hopes to give young girls a role model to follow.
The current members of this program at Friends include Abby and Aislinn Frazer, Gabi Sandoval, Maya Morey, Adriana Lloves, Teah Login, Skylar Cohen and Lilli Lee who are all impressive student athletes from various sports who are going to represent and voice for the female athletes at Friends Academy. The girls had their first meeting on Sept. 16, 2022 where they had their first taste of the curriculum and what the whole movement is about.
The team will meet once a month to discuss service project ideas, watch webinars from powerful women figures in sports and discuss situations or instances of inequality that need to be addressed. Everything that the FA Women of Will program does is going to be for the benefit of publicizing the success and talent of women in sports right here at Friends Academy and you can expect a lot of work from them this year as the Women of Will program grows here at our school and throughout the world.
“This is a call to the believers.
A rally cry for those that hunger for
The ones putting in the work, even when no one is watching.
Those who aim too high, who dare to rewrite expectations.
We will recognize our next generation of female athletes.
Who possess this ambitious, defiant swagger.
We will lift ourselves when no one
believes we can go anywhere at all.
We will believe our own bold claims.”
—Women of Will, Under Armour and BSN