As part of their Woman's History Month celebration, the Los Angeles Rams and Nike hosted girls flag football clinics for local youth in Inglewood and Thousand Oaks, as well as for students at 32nd Street USC Performing Arts Magnet and Clinton Middle School. During the clinics, attendees participated in football-related drills and competitions led by players from the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA).
"We are here to bring girls together and show them that women can play football," said Jasmine Edwards, a professional football player for WFA's Cali War team. "It's always good to have a coach that looks like you… so there's a bunch of women coaching a bunch of girls, and we're having a lot of fun! I love to see the next generation coming up."
Rams staff members, Nike representatives and various media personalities joined the clinics to participate in a moderated panel discussion focused on their experiences playing sports and how the skills they gained as athletes translate to working as women in professional sports. Additionally, clinic participants received t-shirts and sports bras courtesy of Nike.
"I grew up playing basketball and I now work for Nike basketball," said Hailey Dunham, Nike Footwear Product Testing Analyst and panelist. "I think sports teach you a lot. It teaches you how to be a good teammate and it teaches you discipline. You can apply those things in a career later on in life."
In January 2022, the Rams and Chargers launched the Los Angeles League of Champions Girls Flag Football program. The Rams and Chargers co-sponsored eight teams and provided players with uniforms in partnership with Nike, stipends for coaches, coaching manuals, officials, athletic trainers, as well as equipment and transportation for the five-week season.
"Girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys by the time they get to high school," said Johnathan Franklin, Rams Director of Social Justice and Football Development. "Women's History Month is about celebrating women and creating paths of access so we can level the field for girls and women to walk into doors and not be limited by their gender or other barriers. Launching the girls flag football league is an opportunity for us to take a step closer to achieving that aspiration."
The goal of the Los Angeles League of Champions Girls Flag Football program is to create more opportunities for young women to engage in football and eventually sanction girls high school flag at the state level. The second season of the Los Angeles League of Champions Girls Flag Football program will begin in December 2022.
To learn more about the Rams' community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.
In partnership with Nike, the Los Angeles Rams launched girls flag football clinics & career panels across LA to impact the next generation for Women's History Month.