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BSN SPORTS debuts SURGE, new program empowering girls to stay in sports

March 20, 2024

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas - BSN SPORTS, a leading marketer, manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods apparel and equipment, and a division of Varsity Brands, today announced the launch of its new initiative, SURGE. SURGE, which stands for Strength, Unity, Resilience, Growth and Equity, aims to empower girls to stay in sports and lead healthy, successful lives through free online tools developed for coaches to build self-esteem, instill confidence, and prioritize mental health in their female athletes.

"It's proven that by participating in sports, girls are more likely to experience better mental and physical well-being, as well as academic and life success," said Terry Babilla, BSN SPORTS President. "However, by the age of 14, we're seeing girls starting to drop out of sports at two times the rate of boys [1]. Through the SURGE program, we are committed to powering girls forward by investing in female athletes and their futures and providing their coaches with the online curriculum, programs and developmental resources they need to help keep girls engaged in sports."

SURGE powered by BSN SPORTS, was created to address a need expressed by coaches and female athletes nationwide. BSN SPORTS' key insights and additional studies show that:

  • Girls and women who play sports have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression [2]
  • 58% of U.S. adults think that participating in organized sports makes children less lonely [3]
  • As little as four hours of exercise a week may reduce a teenage girl's risk of breast cancer by up to 60% [4]
  • Graduation rates are 8% higher in female athletes [5]
  • Female athletes are 24x less likely to drop out of school than non-athletes [6]
  • Female high school athletes are 14% more likely to believe they are smart enough for their dream career [7]
  • 94% of C-suite women played youth sports, with 52% going on to play at the university level [8]

SURGE's online tools and resources, such as webinars, specialized monthly curriculum and key developmental resources, were produced by BSN SPORTS and its partners to help coaches address the mental, physical and emotional needs of their athletes while providing girls with the support required to keep them engaged and excited about the sports they love.

To help advance the program and its mission, BSN SPORTS has partnered with Olympian and World Champion swimmer Allison Schmitt as its honorary Chief Empowerment Officer. Schmitt, who competed in multiple sports throughout her youth, enjoyed a decorated career in swimming at the collegiate and professional levels, including the international ranks. She understands the pressures young girls face and is passionate about helping them prioritize their well-being both in and out of sport. Schmitt's accomplishments as a professional athlete combined with her master's degree in social work offers great insights and perspective for current and future generations of female athletes.  

"I am passionate about the girls behind the goggles, masks and helmets," said Schmitt. "As athletes, we receive so much physical support, yet so often we lack the mental health resources needed to cope with unique pressures. Coaching plays an integral role in the development of athletes and my goal is to help coaches support female athletes in and out of sport. I want to help educate as many people as possible through the tools, webinars and curriculum offered by SURGE, and hopefully foster environments where athletes feel valued, motivated, and empowered to achieve their goals."

BSN SPORTS has also partnered with key organizations like WeCoach, Women Leaders in Sports and Nancy Lieberman Charities, as well as ambassadors Emily Cole (Duke Track & Cross Country; Author of The Players' Plate), Kaylei Akana (University of Texas Volleyball; 2023 NCAA Champion) and Alyssa Brito (Oklahoma University Softball; 2023 NCAA Champion) to help spread SURGE's mission and message to young girls across the U.S.

To learn more about SURGE, program details, how to register, its partners and more visit www.BSNSPORTS.com/SURGE and follow the movement on Instagram and X at @BSNSPORTS_SURGE and on Facebook at @BSNSPORTS.SURGE.

About BSN SPORTS

Farmers Branch-based BSN SPORTS is a leading marketer, manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods apparel and equipment. A division of Varsity Brands, BSN SPORTS markets and distributes its products to over 150,000 institutional and team sports customers in colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and recreational programs throughout the United States via catalog, e-commerce, and direct sales. Focused on providing game-changing solutions through local partnerships, multi-brand selection and one-stop shopping for equipment and uniforms, BSN SPORTS' more than 3,000 employees have been helping elevate participation in team sports since 1972. For more information about BSN SPORTS please visit www.BSNSPORTS.com.

Resources:

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2023, October 20). Social Media Contributing to Poor Body Image Among Teenaged Athletes, Associated with Dropping High School Sports [Press release]. https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/conference-news-releases/social-media-contributing-to-poor-body-image-among-teenaged-athletes-associated-with-dropping-high-school-sports/#:~:text=Participation%20in%20sports%20helps%20children,greater%20than%20that%20of%20boys.

  2.  Women's Sports Foundation. (2016, August 30). Benefits – Why Sports Participation for Girls and Women. https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/advocacy/benefits-sports-participation-girls-women/

  3. Business Insider and YouGov. (2023, November 16). A youth sports overhaul could help America's kids be less lonely. https://www.businessinsider.com/loneliness-decline-in-kids-sports-new-model-cheaper-easier-2023-8

  4. Women's Sports Foundation. (2016, August 30). Benefits – Why Sports Participation for Girls and Women. https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/advocacy/benefits-sports-participation-girls-women/

  5. Angela, L. Judy, F. 2012, March. Whitepaper Summary: Comparing the Academic Performance of High School Athletes and Non-Athletes in Kansas in 2008-2009. Journal of Sport Administration & Supervision. www.quod.lib.umich.edu

  6. Angela, L. Judy, F. 2012, March. Whitepaper Summary: Comparing the Academic Performance of High School Athletes and Non-Athletes in Kansas in 2008-2009. Journal of Sport Administration & Supervision. www.quod.lib.umich.edu

  7. Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX). (2016-2017). Girls & Sports, A Girls' Index™ Impact Report. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/62f55ec3c3784d0f3ec88011/t/6509854b288c4a08ab22cc6f/1695122767118/Girls+%26+Sports%2C+a+Girls%27+Index+Impact+Report_by+Ruling+Our+eXperiences+%28ROX%29.pdf

  8. EY and espnW. (2020, March 6). Why female athletes make winning entrepreneurs. https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_gl/topics/entrepreneurship/ey-why-female-athletes-make-winning-entrepreneurs.pdf