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Basementeer Spotlight - Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI)



Pro athlete with girls in the BAWSI Girls program

We're incredibly excited to have Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI) as a Basementeer beneficiary and partner. Learn more about them (from them!) and how you can support below:

ABOUT BAY AREA WOMEN'S SPORTS INITIATIVE (BAWSI)
BAWSI logo

The Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative (BAWSI) is a non-profit founded in 2005 by women’s sports executive, Marlene Bjornsrud, and soccer legends, Brandi Chastain & Julie Foudy. BAWSI’s mission is to mobilize the women’s sports community to engage, inspire, and empower the children who need us most. BAWSI’s work is fueled by the belief that all children have the right to engage in physical activity and sports to enjoy the accompanying physical, social, and emotional benefits. To date BAWSI has enrolled over 20,000 children, creating active lives and empowered futures for some of the most vulnerable children in the Bay Area.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BAWSI 
PROGRAMS & INITIATIVES

BAWSI programs build resilience, enabling participants to bounce back from adversity. BAWSI focuses on two populations who have the least access, but stand to gain the most from physical activity: underserved girls and children with disabilities.

girl jumping over a hoola hoop

BAWSI Girls is a free, after-school fitness and confidence building program where female athletes inspire young girls to get active, believe in themselves, and improve their attitudes and behaviors about physical activity. The program serves 2nd through 5th grade girls at schools where approximately 70% of students receive free/reduced lunch.

BAWSI Rollers was developed in 2006 by two-time wheelchair tennis Paralympian, Sharon Kelleher. The BAWSI Rollers program introduces students with disabilities to physical activity and sports in a non-threatening and accessible way as part of a team environment. The BAWSI Rollers program serves girls and boys with physical, cognitive and hearing disabilities. 

SEE THEIR PROGRAMS
PROGRAMS DURING THE COVID19 PANDEMIC

Despite shelter-in-place orders, BAWSI remained committed to maintaining the strong connection to participants that is the hallmark of its programming. Daily BAWSI Girls videos and weekly BAWSI Rollers videos were created and distributed through the new BAWSI YouTube channel.

An additional 850 phone calls to the homes of BAWSI participants let parents and children know that BAWSI was there for any extra encouragement or listening needed from our families. 750 handwritten letters were delivered to our BAWSI Girls through the U.S .Postal Service, encouraging the girls to stay active, engaged at school and focused on their strong character. BAWSI even included stamped, self-addressed envelopes to encourage a Pen Pal activity.

As students head back to online learning this fall, BAWSI will be there once again with a new menu of options to keep the BAWSI children physically active, engaged with their peers and family members, and emotionally whole.

CHECK OUT THE BAWSI YOUTUBE CHANNEL
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT

BAWSI is hosting a virtual 5K to keep their programming free to families and free to schools. Join them for a run, walk, or roll the weekend of October 24th-25th. 

three girls from the BAWSI Girls program posing for a group photo
REGISTER FOR THE BAWSI MOVES 5K

If you’re not able to join the BAWSI Moves 5K, you can always help BAWSI bring the power of sports to the children they serve by donating. No amount is too small, or too large to keep these award-winning programs going. Many thanks to our BAWSI Moves sponsors: Stanford Children’s Health, Agile Physical Therapy, TeamSnap, and our in-kind sponsor Sports Basement.

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