Grady Stadium played host to the first annual Girls Day of Play. A joint effort between Atlanta Public Schools and a number of local organizations, the Day of Play was designed to encourage and educate students about nutrition and the benefits of physical activity.
Over 400 APS middle school students came together August 24th in the first annual APS Girls Day of Play. Atlanta Public Schools, whose mission is to improve student achievement and increase community engagement, partnered with the Southeast Dairy Association (SUDIA), Fuel Up to Play 60, GenYOUth Foundation, Sporty Girls, Inc., and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s GoGirlGo! Atlanta Program to coordinate the event.
“I was so pleased to see teenage girls doing sports, some that many may have never done. It brought joy to my heart to see them enjoying it,” said Sporty Girls Inc. founder Rashan Ali.
The number of female athletes is shrinking rapidly. According to the latest statistics, girls drop out of sports at double the rate of their male counterparts. Only eight percent of middle school girls in the Atlanta School District participate in sports. The numbers within APS are dire, with only 15 percent of middle school girls participating in school sports.
“The Day of Play offered students the chance to realize the opportunities and enjoyment that sports offer. We hope that the Day of Play was able to make a lasting impression on these girls,” said SUDIA school program account manager Rashida Shoemaker.
There is a direct correlation between physical activity and nutrition. Only two percent of all youth get adequate servings from all food groups and only 30 percent consume the recommended servings from the dairy group. Almost 77 percent of children ages 9-19 do not meet the recommendations of three daily servings of dairy. The Day of Play offered students a chance to learn about the benefits of fitness and nutrition. Women’s National Basketball Association analyst LaChina Robinson closed the event with an inspiring keynote address.