Ginny Baker, the fictional first female player in major league baseball, will make her way to television this fall on FOX’s newest drama Pitch, and to celebrate her inspirational story, 21st Century Fox has announced a new partnership with the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) to help break barriers for girls in their own communities and take their athletic achievements to new heights.
The partnership will support WSF’s leading efforts to champion women in sports. Founded by sports icon Billie Jean King in 1974, the organization conducts research to further understand the physical and emotional benefits for girls who participate in athletics, and works directly with leagues, schools, and nonprofits on the local level that are trying to get and keep girls in the game.
Specifically, 21CF’s contributions will support WSF’s scholarship and grant programs, which allow female athletes across a range of skill levels to pursue the sport they love. Its Sports 4 Life initiative, for example, awards grants to schools, parks and recreation departments, nonprofits, or amateur sports leagues that encourage the participation and retention of African-American and Hispanic girls ages 11-18 in developmental sports programs.Recent recipients include Atlanta’s Soccer in the Streets program, providing soccer programs for Hispanic young women, and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), which provides after-school programming for LA youth in academics, arts, and athletics.
WSF also supports schools and grassroots organizations through its GoGirlGo! program, an award winning curriculum and sports education program. In addition, its Travel & Training Fund gives aspiring female champions the financial support they need to dedicate themselves to athletic competitions around the world. WSF also awards sport-specific grants to female athletes in judo, auto racing, and more.
As part of 21CF’s support of the foundation, the company is screening a highlight reel of WSF’s work at each “Pitch Night at the Ballpark” event. The campaign offers baseball fans a chance to attend an advance screening of the Pitch pilot episode at 55 baseball venues across the country following a regular season game. After the game concludes, attendees are welcomed onto the field for family activities such as Kids Run the Bases and player meet-and-greets. Along with the pilot, the venue highlights the vital work the foundation is doing to expand opportunities for young women and girls through this video:
FOX Sports, a division of 21st Century Fox, has supported the Women’s Sports Foundation since 2014, partnering with other sports networks to contribute a collective $2 million to the foundation’s work. FOX Sports also supports WSF’s Annual Salute to Women in Sports, a gala recognizing the world’s top female athletes.
And be sure to check out the video below of kids reacting to the first female MLB player. Pitch premieres Thursday, Sept. 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.