GoPro for a Cause Spotlight: Leveling the Playing Field with Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative

Mar 29, 2023


In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re shining the spotlight on the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI), a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit founded by women’s sports legends Brandi Chastain, Julie Foudy and Marlene Bjornsrud. BAWSI’s programs bring the transformational power of sports to children who are typically left on the sidelines—girls in under-resourced neighborhoods and children with disabilities.

BAWSI mobilizes the women’s sports community to engage, inspire and empower children who need them most. BAWSI removes two main barriers to sports participation – cost and transportation – and offers free programs at school sites. Since its founding in 2005, BAWSI has worked with more than 22k children with the help of over 8k volunteers in cities across the Bay Area.

BAWSI’s free programs include:

  • BAWSI Girls—an after-school sports and leadership program for girls in under-resourced neighborhoods. This award-winning program harnesses the power of sport as a tool for leadership development and levels the playing field for girls with the least access to sports.
  • Leadership Accelerator—a new program that expands programming to middle and high school girls with a focus on sports participation, leadership and career exposure.
  • BAWSI Rollers—an adaptive fitness and confidence-building program that introduces girls and boys with physical, hearing and cognitive disabilities to fun and accessible physical activities.

Women athlete role models deliver the BAWSI programs and they work to improve children’s lives and futures while contributing to a more inclusive and healthy society for everyone.

"The unique coaching connection and role modeling of women athletes from local colleges and high schools is what powers our work," says Sherri Shaner, Development Director at BAWSI. "Our volunteers and coaches model leadership, confidence, and healthy choices to our participants."

Girls Who Play Become Women Who Lead

According to BAWSI’s long term impact study, BAWSI Girls alumni:

  • Graduate from high school at higher rates than their peers
  • Play high school sports at higher rates than their peers
  • Exercise more as young adults than U.S. national averages
  • Report strong leadership qualities

Get Involved
You can volunteer and participate in BAWSI’s fundraising events here or donate to help expand sports programs for girls and children with disabilities.

You can also follow BAWSI's social media channels: Instagram and Facebook.

You can learn more about getting involved with GoPro for a Cause here.


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