In honor of the 37th annual National Women in Sports Day on February 1, the Philadelphia Eagles announced a long-term strategic partnership with Operation Warm to design, manufacture and distribute 30,000 sports bras in the tri-state area. As part of last year’s unprecedented $100,000 donation of equipment to increase girls’ youth sports opportunities, the program will now expand to serve 10,000 to 15,000 additional girls attending Philadelphia’s high- and middle-need schools.
“We believe that fostering a love of sports and healthy competition at the youth level can open new doors and pathways for children around the world,” said Philadelphia Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie. “There are many benefits to participating in sport and these opportunities should be equally available to boys and girls of all ages.
“What we’ve seen over the years in our efforts to help grow football is that there are too many barriers keeping young girls on the sidelines. We discovered this last year and realized that one-time donations were not sustainable. We wanted to be bolder , thinking more innovatively to find a long-term, scalable solution that can impact the next generation of girls for years to come. Our partnership with Operation Warm will help level the playing field and make appropriate equipment accessible to all girls from all backgrounds Play in safety, comfort and confidence,” adds Lurie.
Based on the research, it has been pointed to personal barriers, such as lack of confidence in sports and limited family resources, as likely major reasons for girls’ reluctance to participate in sports. When barriers to participation are removed, it can have many physical, social and personal benefits, and can even help open doors to higher education.
The sports bra pilot project will be modeled on Operation Warmth’s mission to connect underserved children with the community resources they need to thrive. The sports bras will be designed, produced, manufactured, warehoused and shipped exclusively by Operation Warm. Each girl in the program will receive 2-3 sports bras to ensure they are well equipped and ready for competition.
“Our 24 years of experience provide the gift to unlock something bigger, which enables Warm Action to innovate with the Eagles,” said Grace Sika, Executive Director of Warm Action. “Opening doors to athletes in need is an exciting step forward in our mission. A sports bra is essential equipment, but it’s also the gift of confidence gained through participation in sport.”