The power of female representation and participation in sports

"Closer Look" guests discuss the power of women and girls participating in sports. (Photos courtesy/by The Atlanta Dream, LaShawn Hudson/ WABE, The Atlanta Vibe)

Wednesday marks National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Athletics have been proven to have many lifelong benefits on the lives of women — physically, emotionally, educationally, and economically.

Research shows 94% of women in C-suite leadership positions played sports. However, the numbers also show girls in Georgia play sports at a far lower rate than boys (119,000 vs. 80,000). On Wednesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” show host Rose Scott talks with several guests about the importance of female representation and participation in the world of sports and the impact athletics can have on a young girl’s life.

First, Morgan Shaw Parker, the president and COO of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, and Haley Jones, a forward-guard for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, discuss making Atlanta the face of women’s sports, the disparities that exist within women’s sports and the importance of offering programs that build up the women’s sports infrastructure.

Then, Atlanta Vive players Leah Edmond and Grace Cleveland reflect on their experience in playing for Atlanta’s first professional volleyball team and their responsibility of being positive role models for young girls.

Lastly, Charles Edwards, a basketball coach and parent of a youth basketball player; Keli Stewart, the co-founder of LEAD Center for Youth; and her daughter McKenna, a youth tennis coach, reflect on the joy of coaching and the resilience of their players.