The long-awaited FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ has officially kicked off all the way from Australia and New Zealand. The month-long tournament is the world’s largest and most competitive display of female talent in sports and each inspiring player profile, every winning kick and thrilling moment of sportsmanship, reminds us of what being unstoppable truly looks like.
As Telemundo brings viewers front-row seats to all the action, we also take a moment to reflect on what this event means for girls and women in sports. The excitement, passion, and national pride that each game awakens is a key opportunity to remember the priceless benefits that sports can have for girls and, in particular, for girls of color. Every single time that we get to hear Andrés Cantor yell his iconic Goooool, we hope more girls will start dreaming of scoring their own wins.
In the report, COUNT HER IN: A Playbook for Youth Sports Programs to Engage Girls, published last September by our partners at the US Soccer Foundation, we learned about the challenging environment for girls in sports. According to the report, when compared to boys, girls are 19% less likely to play any sport, and if they do, they are more likely to drop out. By age 14, twice the number of girls than boys drop out of sports all together and when it comes to girls of color, the numbers are even more concerning. The dropout rate for girls of color in urban and rural areas is more than twice the rate of suburban white girls.
There are many reasons attributed to these stark differences, including fewer recreational areas in Hispanic and African American neighborhoods, costs, and lack of access. Additionally, girls contend with gender norms and socio-cultural perceptions that may discourage them from considering or sticking to playing sports.
Despite all those challenges, we know Latinas are passionate about soccer, and constitute a large part of the accelerated growth in soccer fandom in the U.S. In our 2022 report, The Future is Fútbol, 76% of Hispanic mom tournament viewers encourage their kids to follow the World Cup and professional fútbol. Among past World Cup audiences, a fifth (21%) of Latinas call themselves Superfans, which is more than double than among non-Hispanic men and women. We are confident those numbers are even higher today, on the eve of the upcoming tournament.
Key to keeping that growth going is showing the world that this summer, La Copa es Nuestra, The Cup is Ours. This year we are airing and streaming all 64 matches live — the largest coverage ever of a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ — where there will be countless opportunities to see the strength, resilience and unstoppable spirit of female athletes giving their all on the biggest sports stage in the world. We are also proud to share that all the excitement will be presented by a commentary team with the most women ever in Spanish-language U.S. media history.
The world will be watching, and we hope that by seeing themselves represented on and off the field, more girls will find their way to the sport, and more families will be ready to cheer them on when they do.
That’s how we Change the Game, one Goool at a time.
Come join us. We are saving you a seat.