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Mary Harvey Goes From Soccer Champ To Human Rights Leader

By Rob Harris, AP News

Mary Harvey

Mary Harvey

Mary Harvey is used to blazing the trail in sports.

Despite growing up without major soccer tournaments to aspire to play in, the goalkeeper helped the U.S. win the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991 and the first women’s Olympic soccer title five years later.

“As a women’s national team, we didn’t set out to have wide scale impact, but we did,” Harvey recalled in an interview with The Associated Press. “From that I learned that that’s what I wanted my life to be about: the ability to impact others in a positive way.”

Today, that desire has made her one of the biggest campaigners for human rights through sports.

After starting her career as a consultant in the private sector, Harvey led development work at FIFA from 2003-08, helping formulate a human rights strategy for the successful 2026 World Cup bid by the United States, Canada and Mexico. Now Harvey will be taking that strategy global by heading a new sports human rights watchdog.

“The language of human rights it not certainly the language of sport,” Harvey said. “So I went through that personally and learned it (for the World Cup bid) and so I think the center has an opportunity to provide that.”

Harvey is preparing to move to Switzerland from the United States to serve as chief executive of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, hoping governing bodies adopt some of FIFA’s newfound commitment to making compliance on labor and discrimination issues central to whether a country can host a major event.

Read the full article here.

NBA and WNBA launch Her Time To Play

New program is designed to keep girls involved in sports and train female coaches and mentors.

By , The Undefeated

Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike celebrates her winning basket with about four seconds left as the Sparks beat the Minnesota Lynx 77-76 to win the WNBA basketball championship title in Game 5 on Oct. 20, 2016, in Minneapolis. Jim Mone/Associated Press

Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike celebrates her winning basket with about four seconds left as the Sparks beat the Minnesota Lynx 77-76 to win the WNBA basketball championship title in Game 5 on Oct. 20, 2016, in Minneapolis. Jim Mone/Associated Press

Fourteen is a pivotal age for girls. It marks the point at which many of them have dropped out of sports — twice the rate as boys of the same age, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

In an attempt to reverse those numbers, this week the NBA announced Her Time To Play, a new initiative to inspire girls ages 7-14 to learn and play basketball.

“In the age range of 7 to 14, when girls are facing many of the challenges, we’ve seen decline in participation,” said David Krichavsky, NBA vice president of youth basketball development. “We’ve also seen that there aren’t as many opportunities for women to serve in coaching and mentorship roles for girls. So we’ve launched a program this year as part of our Jr. NBA Week,” which runs Oct. 8-15.

The program will provide hundreds of youth organizations with a free basketball curriculum and life skills lessons developed specifically for young women. It also aims to train and license 500 new female coaches and mentors through USA Basketball’s Coach Licensing Program. Select coaches will be honored at the 2019 Jr. NBA Youth Basketball Leadership Conference for their commitment to growing the game.

“The response from the basketball community, the WNBA community and on social media has been that this is a truly important campaign, and a timely one too,” Krichavsky said. “We’re dealing with a society that’s evolving in a lot of ways, and we think this meets the needs of girls today.”

Her Time To Play is a collaboration with the WNBA, USA Basketball, YMCA of the USA, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Read the full article here.

Discover the Women Athletes Who Are Inspiring a Generation

By 

2018.09.10-inspiring female athletes-IMAGE

Enjoy this variety of current and historic achievements by some of the best female athletes in the world.

Rachel Atherton

A recent recipient of the prestigious Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year, Atherton had essentially the perfect year. She won every single round of the World Cup, is unbeaten in 15 races and was once again crowned world champion. Understandably, the awards have come thick and fast for the 29-year-old.

Lindsey Vonn

At 32, American Vonn could have been forgiven for retiring long ago but last month became the oldest female world championships medallist with her bronze medal in the downhill at St Moritz. It also marked a seventh world medal in an already illustrious career, all the more impressive having broken her arm in a training crash in November, which has resulted in nerve damage which meant her right hand was still partially impaired.

Ivana Spanovic 

The pressure was on Ivana Spanovic to deliver gold in front of an expectant home crowd at the European Indoor Athletics Championship in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. She didn’t disappoint. A heroic performance saw her jump seven meters and 24 centimeters, a new personal best and Serbia’s new national record. It was the third best indoor jump of all time, just 13 centimeters off the world record.

Read the full article here.

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