Hoop Sistas Basketball Club, was born out of the experience of the Founder who participated in the Fortune/State Department Global Mentoring Partnership program in May 2008. Under the mentorship of the President of the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association), Donna Orender, it was recognized that girls and young women could be empowered physically, socially politically and even career wise by playing basketball through sports and fitness in general. Sports and fitness empowers young women particularly by contributing to their strength, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Hoop Sistas Basketball Club, is a mentoring programme, which seeks to build these character attributes in young Ghanaian women through sports.
Salamatu Alhassan A physical education instructor and coach at Reverend John Tei Memorial School
Zenabu S. Akoto A physical education teacher and coach at Ghana International School
Sports – a tool for women’s empowerment
Playing sports empowers the young Ghanaian woman by contributing to their strength, self-esteem and self-confidence. Various statistics prove that women’s lives could be positively impacted through their active involvement in playing some sport.
In general, it has been found that:
- Half of all girls who participate in some type of sports experience have higher than average levels of self-esteem and less depression. (Colton & Gore, Risk, Resiliency and Resistance; Current Research on Adolescent Girls, Ms. Foundation 1991)
- Teenage female athletes are less than half as likely to get pregnant as female non-athletes. (The Women's Sports Foundation Report: Sport and teen Pregnancy, May 1998)
- Women who are active in sports and recreational activities feel greater confidence, self-esteem; take pride in their physical appearance and social selves than those who were sedentary as kids. (Miller Lite Report, 1985; Melpomene Institute, 1995)
Of 401 successful women in business surveyed over 80% agreed that sports helped them to succeed, made them more disciplined, made them more focused as a ‘team player’ and 70% said it helped them develop their leadership skills and contributed to their professional development. (Oppenheimer Funds Study) and as quoted in an edition of Prevention magazine, 80% of female leaders in Fortune 500 companies participated in high school athletics. Also, “more than 4 out of 5 executive businesswomen played sports growing up. The vast majority say lessons learned on the playing field have contributed to their success in business.”
Enhancing athletic opportunity for young women and girls is therefore of vital importance because of the significant physical, psychological, and sociological benefits those opportunities provide. A number of studies have recognized the role that athletic opportunities for women provide in promoting greater academic success, responsible social behaviours, and increased personal skills (Title IX: Gender Equity in College Sports: An AAUP Position Paper, June 2003).