Leveling the Playing Field cares deeply about gender equity. It is our vision that all kids have access to the equipment they need to participate in youth sports and recreation. Below, please read about the work we are doing to increase access to sports for young women and girls.
Athletes Unlimited is a new model of pro sports, where athletes are decision-makers and individual players are champions of team sports. A network of professional women’s softball, lacrosse, volleyball and basketball leagues featuring world-class competition and fan experience, Athletes Unlimited stands out as an organization driven by the athletes that play in the leagues, with athlete representation on the company’s board of directors, each league led by a Player Executive Committee, and players sharing in long-term profits of the company, all while being proactive in shaping policies supporting the mothers that play in the league. Athletes Unlimited is the first professional sports league to be organized as a Public Benefit Corporation and the first U.S. based pro sports league to be carbon neutral.
The Washington Coalition of Women’s Professional Sports (WCWPS) serves as a supportive organization for all women’s sports programs and professional clubs in the greater Washington, D.C. region. Driven by a mission to purposefully and significantly impact the Greater Washington community by connecting the region’s women’s professional sports teams through service-focused collaboration, the coalition is the first joint effort across these select teams. The Washington Coalition of Women’s Professional Sports seeks to kick off the next 50 years of Title IX with the intention of creating a prosperous future for women’s sports in the DMV.
With over 17,000 under-resourced middle school and high school female athletes in the Greater Washington area, the WCWPS recognizes its position to empower women and girls in its community. In 2023, the WCWPS aims to distribute over 15,000 sports bras through their #KeepHerPlaying initiative. No athlete should be left on the sidelines due to equipment inequity and WCWPS hopes to bring this resource to schools and organizations, allowing everyone to participate.
About Leveling the Playing Field
Leveling the Playing Field was founded in 2013 in response to the growing inequity between those that can afford to play sports and those that cannot, and the prominent role the cost of sporting goods has played in that gap. Leveling the Playing Field’s core mission is to redistribute equipment to expand access and equity within youth sports and recreation programs in under-resourced communities. With locations in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, Leveling the Playing Field has collected and redistributed over $12 million worth of sports equipment to over 1,500 unique schools, sports leagues, and other programs serving kids in need.
About Washington Mystics
The Washington Mystics is a professional women’s basketball team based in Washington, D.C. that competes in the Women’s National Basketball Association. Founded in 1998, the club is entering its 25th season in the WNBA and tenth with Mike Thibault at the helm as head coach and general manager. The Mystics moved to the brand new Entertainment and Sports Arena in southeast Washington, D.C. prior to the 2019 season, the same year the club won its first WNBA championship. Monumental Sports and Entertainment serves as owner of the club as well as its NBA counterpart, the Washington Wizards.
About Washington Spirit
The Washington Spirit is a professional women’s soccer team that competes in the National Women’s Soccer League. The club was founded in 2011 as D.C. United Women before becoming a founding member of the NWSL in 2013 and rebranding as the Washington Spirit. Entering its tenth season in the NWSL, the club is coming off its first league championship and will split its home games between Audi Field in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and Segra Field in Leesburg, Virginia. Washington is led by head coach Kris Ward and new majority owner Y. Michele Kang.
About D.C. Divas
D.C. Divas is a professional women’s football team based in Springfield, Virginia that competes in the Women’s Football Alliance. Founded in 2000, the club is entering its 22nd season of competition and 12th as a part of the WFA. The club is managed by owner Rich Daniel and plays its home games at The St. James Sports Complex in Springfield. In the club’s 22-year history, it has claimed three league championships, one in 2006 as a member of the National Women’s Football Association and back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016 as a part of the WFA.
About D.C. Shadow
D.C. Shadow is a women’s professional ultimate frisbee team based in Washington, D.C. that competes in the Premier Ultimate League. Founded as a part of the league’s 2020 expansion, the team heads into its second season with new head coach Sam Broaddus and assistant coaches John Agan and Geoff Horsfield.