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Girls Sports Bras for a Cause

We've been amazed by the response to our request for donations of sports bras for girls in India who are part of Goals for Girls' initiative. But we're just blown away by the efforts of Zoe, a 12-year old, soccer-loving girl from New York state, who took our idea and ran with it. As part of her bat mitzvah preparation, she's collected nearly 100 clean, gently-used sports bras already and is aiming even higher!
girls high school soccer teams have donated 76 sports bras thanks to Zoe C. The girls' varsity soccer teams of the Fayetteville-Manlius and the Jamesville-Dewitt schools (NY) donated 76 gently-used sports bras to Goals for Girls, helping needy girls stay active. Inspired by Dragonwing girlgear, the donation drive was the project of 12-year-old Zoe C.
We pleased to introduce you to this girl-empowering girl: How did you hear about the Dragonwing campaign to collect bras for Goals for Girls? I read about the Dragonwing campaign in Real Simple magazine and thought it would be a great mitzvah project. My Mom and I did some online research and came up with the idea of "Bras for a Cause." Why did you choose sports bra donations as your bat mitzvah project? I love soccer, and I want to help other girls stay in the game and not have to stop playing because they don't have the right equipment. Donating a sports bra is something that's really simple that all girls and women can help with. It doesn't involve people spending money; they just have to look through their own drawers. My grandparents recently traveled to India and we studied India in school, so when I saw that Goals for Girls' next trip was to India, I was even more excited to help. What's your goal of how many sports bras you'll collect? At first, my goal was to collect 100 bras, but I've already reached 76 by asking the girls' soccer teams from my area. Now I'm hoping to get at least 200. I've four women's college soccer teams respond to my email request and agree to help me. So now 100 seems too easy. What sports do you play? What do you like about playing sports? I play soccer and basketball, and I'm going to try volleyball soon. I love soccer because I love being part of a team and working together. I like that it's fast paced and things can change quickly. I also love that you get to be aggressive.

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If you'd like to donate, send your clean, gently-used sports bra(s) -- any size, brand, or color -- to:
Goals for Girls/Dragonwing girlgear 510 Meadowmont Village Circle, #188 Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Corie Barry: From Rugby Field to CEO - Dragonwing Girl

Corie Barry: From Rugby Field to CEO

There's no arguing the fitness benefits for girls playing sports -- but does it really increase their likelihood of success later in life? Athletics teach values that go far beyond the court or field: cooperation, determination, discipline, and how to succeed under pressure. 

As more women enter the C-Suite, it's notable how many laid the foundation for their success playing competitive sports early in life.

Corie Barry spent much of her career with Best Buy, having served as Chief Financial Officer before being named CEO. Before that, she played college rugby and considered a career in dance. For her, an impressive title and resume must include her husband and two kids, youth baseball games, gymnastics with her daughter, and active time spent together with her family. 

"My point of view is there is no perfect balance," says Barry. "All you can do is figure out what works for you. I laugh because I'm always the mom who shows up at the baseball game in my heels, and that's OK." 

Read Corie Barry Becomes Fifth CEO in Best Buy History

Whether it's business or sports, Barry has advice we can all use. "I've always felt it's important to demand a return on your investment. If you're going to put your time in, where you put it in and the return you get is incredibly important because there are only so many hours in a day."

Corie's is an inspiring success story for athletic girls in every sport.  

Read "Boardrooms And Ballfields: Best Buy CFO Corie Barry Talks Motherhood" 

 

Is now the time to try karate? Renshi Lisa thinks so! - Dragonwing Girl

Is now the time to try karate? Renshi Lisa thinks so!

In our last newsletter, we shared links for a variety of free online workouts. One was karate with Renshi Lisa Magiera (renshi means “polished teacher”). Lisa was introduced to martial arts 25 years ago, when a friend invited her to join a class. She’s now a 4th degree black belt and runs a dojo (a karate studio) in Maine that offers online and (when permitted) in-person classes and classes in several after-school programs.


Many of our customers wear Dragonwing girlgear (sports bra, spandex short or cami) under their karate uniform, which is called a Gi. Lisa’s daughter Jordan wears our sports bra and compression shorts under her Gi.


There are many types of martial arts, so Lisa recommends exploring a couple until you find one that fits your personality. I interviewed Lisa recently to learn more about her interest in practicing and teaching martial arts to people of all ages. Below are some excerpts of our conversation.

How did you get into Karate?  A friend in New York invited me to an Aikido class 25 years ago. It was fun, so I tried a few different types of martial arts. Karate is the one that stuck! Today, my entire family practices karate: my husband is a 3rd degree black belt, and my children Jordan (18) and Nick (16) are both 2nd degree.

At Dragonwing, we’re all about empowering girls to be strong and confident in sports and life. How can karate help empower pre-teen and teen girls?  Girls face body image challenges, bullying, and other stresses, especially beginning around age 11. They want to be their own unique selves AND they want to fit in. I use karate as a way to tell girls to be vibrantly you. Karate makes girls feel stronger and safer and improves their mental health.

I see it in my students: as girls gain confidence in class at the dojo, they take that confidence with them into the world. They learn more than physical skills; they gain mental toughness and the strength to stand up for themselves.

But isn’t karate a very standardized athletic activity? How can you make it uniquely you? Karate allows for a safe space to be strong, for big, strong, personal moments. Especially in sparing, karate can give you space to be you. You feel strong, capable, and proud. I think that applies to all sports. You can be completely different in your sport than you are at school or at home.

What are the benefits of karate? Karate is good for focus, agility, brain balance, strength, and community. Being part of the dojo community is so important during this time of social distancing. Practicing together, even when we’re physically apart, helps us feel connected to something bigger.

How do you recommend people choose a dojo? It’s about personality and fit. If possible, try a couple of different places and see which one works for you. There’s a lot of variety in martial arts so there’s something for everyone. At Bushido Karate Dojo here in Maine, our students range from 3 to 60 years old.

How can doing karate benefit athletes who play other sports? Karate is three dimensional: it helps with kicking and posture alignment, teaches body movement, and, at a basic level, releasing kinetic energy – what I call, the kinetic chain. When our body is well aligned, it makes the most efficient use of energy.

Karate also is great for cross-training because it works different muscles – or uses the same muscles differently – than your main sport. For example, we worked with a lacrosse team on how to roll, pull up, and still have the ball – all using karate movements!

Tell us about the free online karate class you’re offering? We’ve got a fun, high energy class every weekday (Monday – Friday) at 11 a.m. (EDT). Anyone can sign up on our website, Bushido Karate Dojo, scroll down the page, enter your information, and we’ll send you the link for joining the class.  

How to contact Lisa
207-627-7170
https://strongersafersmarter.me/ 
bkdfitness@gmail.com

Passing on the Stories of our Female Athletes - Dragonwing Girl

Passing on the Stories of our Female Athletes

The most popular professional sports in America, in the world, even, are dominated by men- think football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and, though an increasingly large number of females are playing sports, women’s professional leagues still suffer from lack of interest. This is in part because our society has long been adamant that sports are only for men but also because the legacy and culture of men’s sports are passed down from father to son.

As a brand devoted to helping develop women’s sports and girls’ interest in sports, Dragonwing girlgear believes it is crucial for girls to learn about female athletes who have conquered in order to see them as role models.  Boys, and girls, who don’t play baseball are well aware of Babe Ruth’s story.  What about the other Babe?  Not that many young female golfers, basketball players, or runners learn about Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the athlete extraordinaire who excelled at all of those sports.

This trend we’re seeing, of female athletes remaining obscure and girls remaining deprived of female role models in the sports arena, must end if women are to achieve equality in the world of athletics. If the stories of strong, successful female soccer players, figure skaters, runners, and gymnasts aren’t told, their successes will be lost to this generation of girls. Girls should grow up with the belief that they too can become a part of sports history and that there is a spot for them in the world of sports. To understand this, though, the tales of successful female athletes need to be shared.

In order to rectify this social pattern and to raise awareness of successful female athletes, Sideline Chatter is going to be featuring such legends every Monday and on their birthdays, celebrating the players who have established women’s rightful place in the world of sports.