Western New York Girls in Sport (WNY GIS) was founded by Mary Wilson, wife of Buffalo Bills Owner Ralph Wilson Jr., in 2006, with the goal of enriching young girl's lives through involvement in sports. Mrs. Wilson's personal passion for sports was the impetus for creating WNY GIS and developing its focus on teaching young girls and women the life lessons that sports offer. Mrs. Wilson is a strong believer that the structure sports provided at an early age can lead to life-long successes. By launching WNY GIS Mrs. Wilson shares her passion for sports with the girls, helping them learn core qualities such as discipline, sportsmanship and working as a team.
The WNY GIS program, invites 250 Buffalo Public School girls ages 9-12 to attend an afternoon of sports in both November and April of each year. The biennial events are structured to expose the girls to sports by having the participants rotate in stations around the athletics facility playing a wide range of activities from soccer, golf, track, volleyball, rowing and tennis, to basketball, agility exercises, Double Dutch and Zumba.
WNY GIS events are made possible through the volunteers from its official program partners who operate each of the stations. The program has gathered a vast following of community organizations equally committed to empowering girls and young women through sport. The volunteers range in age from high school and college athletes to local coaches and professional athletes. The list of program partners includes the University at Buffalo, Canisius College, Buffalo State, Daemen College, The First Tee of WNY, Niagara Frontier Jr. Olympic Volleyball Club, Buffalo Soccer Club, Girls on the Run, United Way, and Algonquin Sports.
Vision and Philosophy
The vision of WNY Girls in Sports is to empower girls and young women to be healthy, confident, and self-aware through their participation in sport and physical activity. The vision is focused on broadening the reach in underserved neighborhoods in the region through a collaborative strategy among several organizations.
WNY Girls in Sports is a relationship-based initiative building and leveraging strengths of partners, participants, and families to encourage girls to live confidently and healthfully.
● Promote sports and fitness among girls;
● Make Girls in Sports programming available on a regular, year-round basis;
● Deliver consistent messages and activities that will lead to healthy choices and development of essential life skills; and
● Create access and pathways for girls from underserved neighborhoods to participate in sports programs at the local, high school, and collegiate level.
WNY Girls In Sports is an organization that not only sponsors several sport sampling events per year, it also brings together youth sport organizations from all corners of the region that share the passion of encouraging girls and young women to participate in sport. Below are the links to the WNY GIS Official Program Partners.
The First Tee of WNY
Niagara Frontier Volleyball
Girls on the Run
University at Buffalo Athletics