Now more than ever, it is imperative to get girls up, moving and socializing with others. 13% of girls ages 10-17 are obese. During the pandemic, the level of mental health issues among children and youth has increased significantly due to social isolation and the lack of physical activities.

Inspire is a statewide inter-town and city basketball and wellness program for young girls in elementary and middle school.  Inspire programming will be offered throughout the year, holding clinics, summer camps and special events in cooperation with UConn Womens Basketball Alumnae and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. 

Its mission is to promote girls’ mental and physical health and wellness, self-worth and independence; encourage them to be sensitive to and care for others; and maximize their feelings of self-confidence through their hard work and successes both on and off the court, through basketball, other sports, cooperative games, arts and exploratory field trips.  While weekday clinics will be held in the girls’ individual towns, weekends will bring the girls together – not to play against one another – but to play as members of the same teams within their geographic areas.

Connecticut girls will learn the importance and value of their physical and mental health and wellness through basketball, cooperative and fun games, exercise and free play along with age-appropriate strength and endurance training, yoga, nutrition and stress-reducing activities.  Exciting fun-filled field trips (ECHO), an innovative approach to learning, will provide the basic building blocks for Inspire.  ECHO stands for Empathy, Character, Hope and Opportunity and focuses on strengthening life skills, fostering resiliency and reinforcing positive behaviors. It will provide coaches with engagement strategies that convey positive and consistent messages of empathy, respect, honesty, caring and fairness.  Special recognition events with peers and families is an integral part of Inspire’s programming.