Athletics and sport are important in general but especially for girls, explained Stephenie Foster, Co-Founder & Partner of Smash Strategies LLC and Concordia Advisor. Through sport, girls can build critically important skills, important to individuals but also communities, families, and the greater good. U.S. Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad described how she discovered fencing at 12 years old, beginning a journey that showed her how to work with others, yield power over her own destiny, and unleash her inner warrior. Muhammad noted how important representation is: Venus and Serena Williams were her childhood inspiration, and she now inspires girls who wear hijab.
Eglantina Zingg, President of Goleadoras, explained how she uses soccer to get young women involved in sport. Working in rural Colombia, young women and girls can learn that it doesn’t matter where the field is—the real lessons come on the field. Machaille Hassan Al-Naimi, Strategic Initiatives Executive Officer for the Qatar Foundation, noted that the upcoming World Cup will help foster a women’s hub for sport in the country, helping to encourage role models that will inspire the next generation of women athletes. Muhammad agreed that all athletes have a backstory that can inspire, supported by their families and communities. Zingg expressed how sport encourages sorority and teamwork, and Foster concluded by saying that self esteem and confidence are only a few of the positive outcomes that we see when women and girls compete.
“We strongly believe in investing in our most important asset: our people.”
Machaille Hassan Al-Naimi, Strategic Initiatives Executive Officer, Qatar Foundation
“Athletics and sport are tremendously important in general, but for women especially and girls, they are really something that can help drive confidence [and] self esteem.”
Stephenie Foster, Co-Founder & Partner, Smash Strategies LLC; Concordia Advisor
“We don’t really think about how seeing others who look like us in [different] spaces really shifts and changes how we see ourselves.”
Ibtihaj Muhammad, U.S. Olympic Medalist, NY Times Best-selling Author, Entrepreneur
“Sometimes we don’t want to dream because we want to avoid failure. But when we make it a point to not leave anyone behind, that’s when more dreams can come true.”
Eglantina Zingg, President, Goleadoras