July 7, 2021
By #24 Briannah Gallo
Yesterday I had a unique opportunity to take part in the Dick’s Sporting Goods 2021 Sports Matter Let Her Play Tour. As a female athlete, sports have and still do play a crucial role in my personal and professional life.
Sadly, by the age of 14, female athletes are two times more likely to drop out of sports compared to male athletes. As a young girl, all I wanted to do was play football. I was told girls don’t play football. Instead I cheered, played softball and ran track. It wasn’t until college that I was able to pursue my dream. It began with intramural flag football and progressed into women’s tackle football.
In the beginning of my 15-year football career, it was about living out my dream. Today, I play for her — the future generation — to show that barriers are made to be broken.
If you have a young female athlete in your life, encourage her. Support her. And be her biggest fan. Sports matter. Sports build character and offer many real-world life lessons. Sports teach teamwork and how to be a good teammate. Sports promote healthy lifestyles and show kids how to overcome adversity. Sports make goal setting, hard work, and accountability tangible to young people.
As I reflect, I am so excited to work for Dick’s Sporting Goods, a company that recognizes the importance of sports for young female athletes. Over the course of the last two weeks, I was able to take part in packing some of the equipment bags at Good Sports, a non-profit organization in Braintree, Mass. Then I witnessed the pure joy and excitement of the young female athletes who received them yesterday.
To the girls of today and leaders of tomorrow, keep following your dreams and never give up!