June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 14

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
Girls' Sports Flourish in Washington, D.C.
By Thennie M. Freeman
W
hile more women than ever are finding themselves in spaces
that were previously held by men, it is important to note
that sports participation is still dominated by males. At the
District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation
(DPR), we knew that to grow girls' sports opportunities, we had to make
connections that would drive participation.
The District of Columbia Department of
Parks and Recreation seeks to expand
opportunities for girls' sports.
Growing Girls' Sports
First, we encouraged girls already
participating in DPR programs to
explore new sports by hosting clinics
where they could sample different
sports. To expand our reach
even further, we asked those participants
to bring a friend.
We dedicated staff and resources
to this initiative to ensure it would
flourish. Also, we brought in partners
who were looking to build outreach,
such as high school coaches and
adult teams, who could lead the clinics,
creating a win-win-win for DPR,
the partners and the girls themselves.
Just one of our success stories is
that of Naima Moore, who joined
the gymnastics program, which led
to more sports, like dance, basketball
and volleyball. Through each of
these activities, Moore's confidence
grew. Her teacher noticed her encouraging
classmates to " never give
up. " Without knowing it, Moore
became an ambassador for DPR,
sharing with peers her successes,
and most of all, the fun.
Moore's story resonates with the
broader goals of DPR's initiative,
emphasizing the transformative power
of sports in shaping young lives
and connecting with others.
Expanding Offerings
Beginning in February 2023, DPR
hosted the clinics not only to build
interest, but also to identify sports
with untapped potential. Prior to
this
initiative, DPR only offered
three sports for girls - basketball,
cheerleading and soccer. Through
this work, four additional sports
have been added: gymnastics, volleyball,
lacrosse and flag football.
Two standout successes were
the volleyball and flag football clinics,
each attracting more than 150
participants. These events not only
showcased the demand for
these
new sports, but also highlighted the
strategic planning behind DPR's efforts.
By investing in dedicated staff,
including hiring of K'Yanna Black14
Parks & Recreation | JUNE 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
well, DPR's first girls and women
sports manager, and fostering a sense
of community through these clinics,
DPR broke down barriers that may
have hindered girls from exploring
and excelling in sports.
Investing in Girls' Sports
DPR backed its commitment to girls'
sports with tangible investments. An
underutilized recreation center was
transformed into a state-of-the-art
gymnastics facility, meeting the demand
generated by the popularity of
girls' gymnastics programs. Putting
dollars behind infrastructure provides
a clear message - that girls' sports
are not an afterthought, but a priority.
One of the most notable outcomes
of DPR's initiative was the significant
increase in lacrosse participation.
Addressing unmet demand,
DPR adapted dynamically, doubling
the participation rate from fall to
spring. This surge in interest not only
emphasizes the success of the initiative,
but also underscores the importance
of listening and responding to
the needs of the community.
By creating partnerships, allocating
resources and expanding offerings
for girls' sports, DPR has set a
powerful blueprint. The overwhelming
response to the clinics, expanded
sports offerings and acceptance of
new sports by our target audience
highlight the transformative impact
of focusing on our girls creating a
legacy that extends beyond the
playing fields.
Thennie M. Freeman is Director of District
of Columbia Department of Parks and
Recreation (thennie.freeman@dc.gov).
PHOTO COURTESY OF MARCUS HOPKINS, D.C. DEPARTMENT OF
PARKS AND RECREATION

June 2024 – Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2024 – Parks & Recreation

June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Intro
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover1
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover2
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 1
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 2
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 3
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 4
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 5
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 6
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 7
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 8
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 9
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 10
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 11
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 12
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 13
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 14
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 15
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 16
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 17
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 18
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 19
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 20
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 21
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 22
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 23
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 24
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 25
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 26
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 27
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 28
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 29
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 30
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 31
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 32
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 33
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 34
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 35
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 36
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 37
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 38
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 39
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 40
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 41
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 42
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 43
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 44
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 45
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 46
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 47
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 48
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 49
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 50
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 51
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 52
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 53
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 54
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 55
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 56
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover3
June 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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