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Julie Foudy: Choose to Matter starts on National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Feb. 1 is National Girls and Women in Sports Day and it is also the start of the Choose to Matter contest, run by the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy. The winner of the contest gets the chance of a lifetime: A trip to the Olympics. Julie Foudy, former U.S. soccer star, explains below:

I love playing sports for a long list of reasons, but I especially love sports because they help define who we are:

  • Sports give you confidence.
  • Sports give you strength.
  • Sports give you a voice (hence, the nickname Loudy Foudy). 🙂
  • Sports teach teamwork and leadership.

Yet too often we focus on the win/loss column without recognizing that the real beauty of sports resides in the fact that sports shape our character.

The Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy’s (JFSLA) Choose to Matter contest is a wonderful example of the power of sports. See young female athletes stepping out of their comfort zone and into their community as they choose to make a difference. As we say at the JFSLA, leadership is personal, not positional. These girls–along with girls from our partner organization, Girl Talk–have come up with their very own community service projects and are transforming lives in their communities. Leaders of action… such a beautiful thing. Go be inspired by reading about girls helping kids with disabilities, raising money for breast cancer research, collecting equipment for kids in need, bringing Halloween to the homeless, doing anti-bullying awareness rallies, and singing songs to seniors… to name just a few.

I am incredibly proud of what these amazing young women have done and what I know they will continue to do for many years. Please join me and our co-sponsors, McDonald’s and The Century Council, in supporting these girls by voting NOW. It does not take much time and by voting for your favorite project, you can help send a young leader to the Olympics! Yes, how cool is that… the Olympics! The winning project from each category will win an all-expenses trip to London this summer as a Youth Ambassador in the McDonald’s Champions of Play program.

It is this simple:

1) Go to website:

2) Read through projects.

3) Find yourself smiling.

4) Vote for your favorite one in each category.

5) Find yourself not being able to stop smiling.
And yes, I’ll then tell you I told you so.

Voting is open from Feb. 1st- Feb. 21st.  And, there are 2nd and 3rd place prizes too – a PUMA shopping spree on Eurosports website,

Thank you for supporting our future leaders!


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