Photograph used with permission, (c) Linehan Photography
Sports for Women (SFW) began in May 2018 in response to the Boston Breakers NWSL team folding in January that same year. It was a total surprise. Kate Painter, SFW Founder & CEO, and many others were in disbelief. She stewed for 60 days and googled Boston Breakers almost daily to try to comprehend what happened. Thirty more days passed, and Kate decided someone needed to spearhead bringing equal access, world-class facilities, and increased athletic opportunities to New England. From that initial heartbreak came an inspiration to create something new in women’s sports: a community-driven organization with the programming and facility to benefit and inspire female athletes from New England and across the United States.
The goal of SFW is to fund and create a national network of sports campuses, the first of their kind purposely built for women’s teams and players. Our first campus will be in New England, just outside the Boston metro area. SFW will feature state-of-the-art facilities that incorporate a lifelong wellness center, educational classrooms, public art and performance spaces, indoor training and lockers, a soccer stadium, and adjacent competition/training fields – all with the mission to serve others and an emphasis on community engagement. The SFW campuses will support teams and players of all ages and abilities - weekend recreational clubs, college athletes, seniors, professional and semi-professional teams, athletes with disabilities, and youth players alike - giving our community valuable economic, athletic, and social value. Our educational programming will be diverse and encompass many inter-related themes: wellness, nutrition, mobility, strength, flexibility, mental toughness, and overall health. As the most universal and popular sport in the world, soccer will be the initial anchor, but in time, we’ll include other sports to help promote women’s empowerment and leadership, both on and off the pitch.
In addition to our campuses, SFW will fund an annual scholarship program to award college scholarships to applicants from all six (6) New England states, and eventually all 50 states. At this moment, the arc of history is giving women a platform for change and equality unlike any other era. We will harness the energy for women's sports to build increased support for female student-athletes throughout our region. Our mission is "to create and promote athletic opportunities for women," and we think that begins with young athletes and continues throughout a lifetime.
We need players, fans, parents, teachers, coaches, and sports lovers everywhere to join us to make this happen. Sports have an amazing capacity to unify, strengthen, and inspire our community. Numerous studies show that playing sports builds confidence and teamwork, and we believe strong girls become powerful women. By showcasing female athletes at the highest possible level - while offering programs and opportunities for everyday players and their families - Sports for Women will create a new platform for equality, community, and lifelong fitness. PLAY ON!