Los Angeles Panel Discussion: Increasing Female Participation in Sports

February 05, 2014
12:00PM-2:00PM This event is free and lunch will be served.
YWCA Santa Monica / Westside 2019 Fourteenth Street Santa Monica, CA 90405

The Hub for Sport-Based Youth Development

Over the course of the last three years, Sport in Society has worked extensively with local and national sport-based youth development organizations to identify their organizational challenges and assets.  With this data, Sport in Society has developed a series of collaborative learning forums, webinars, and online resources that are designed specifically for organizations that strive to use sport for positive youth development. The offerings below are intended to meet these needs by providing solution-oriented meetings, panel discussions, and showcases. Lunch will be served.

Wednesday, February 5th: Increasing Female Participation in Sports

This free panel will examine the need to increase female participation in sports programs, and strategies for doing so.  Featured panelists include:

Cindy Whitehead: Pro Skateboarder and Sport Stylist

During the late 1970’s, in the male-dominated, testosterone-fueled world of skateboarding, Cindy stood out. At sixteen years of age, Cindy became one of the top female professional vertical skateboarders.

Since then, Cindy has gone on to coin the term “Sports Stylist,” working as a fashion stylist with companies like Gatorade, Nike, the NBA, and athletes like Maria Sharapova, Bryce Harper, and Mia Hamm.

Cindy now has her own skateboard collaboration “GIRL is NOT a 4 Letter Word.” She donates the proceeds to GRO ‘Girl Riders Organization. Cindy’s insightful and funny blog, “Girl is NOT a 4 letter Word” empowers girls around the world.

Last year at age 50 Cindy made national headlines by skateboarding down the closed 405 freeway in Los Angeles. Her skate history, including the prototype of the GN4LW board, sits in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Cindy is a TEDxYouth speaker.


Tony Giarla: Associate Director of Kids in Sports LA

Tony Giarla is entering his 18th year in the profession of nonprofit management, sports and recreation.  During that time he has held positions at the professional, intercollegiate and the recreational levels of athletics.  He is currently Associate Director for Kids in Sports, LA.

Kids In Sports currently operates 7 clubs that deliver sports activities in baseball, T-ball, basketball, soccer, softball, swimming and volleyball and serves more than 8,000 youth annually. Boys and girls, ages 5 to 17, participate in year-round sports programs at parks and schools. In 18 years of dedicated community service, Kids In Sports is proud to have served over 155,000 Los Angeles County youth. As Associate Director Tony is  responsible for all sports program evaluation and design, special event planning, grant writing and correspondence, fundraising, and government and civic relations.

Tony received his B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies/Sports Management from Endicott College and his Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration from Plymouth State University. Outside of Kids in Sports he is a  Division I college volleyball official. Tony lives in L.A with his wife and daughter.


Hilton Brown: Director of Athletics YWCA Santa Monica

Hilton joined the YWCA March 2009. In his role of Athletic Director, he brings 12+ years of coaching 5 different youth sports, instructing adult novices at sports and starting up various leagues. Hilton is also a multi-sport athlete himself who passionately believes in sports for all the life skills it teaches, i.e. socialization, competition, teamwork, coping with success and failure. Hilton’s philosophy regarding both life & sports is simple: Teach, Build & Reward.

A grantee of LA84 Foundation, YWCA Santa Monica / Westside’s Girls Athletics Program comprises year-round basketball and volleyball leagues and clinics. Serving over 300 girls between the ages of 4 and 14 annually (and even women over 30!), the Girls Athletics Program gives girls the opportunity to learn how to collaborate with team members – working through the process of playing basketball and volleyball – to find their own personal level of motivation and excellence in a safe, healthy environment of respect and encouragement.


Justine Siegal, PhD: Director of Sport Partnerships for Sport in Society
A true pioneer, Justine is the first woman to coach men’s professional baseball or to throw batting practice to a Major League Baseball team. She is the Founder of Baseball For All, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for girls in baseball. She has been featured in thousands of media outlets including: The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, NPR’s All Things Considered, and ESPN. Justine received her PhD in Sport Psychology from Springfield College.

Her nonprofit, Baseball For All, provides meaningful opportunities in baseball, especially for girls. Her 12 and under team, the Sparks, are the subject of the documentary, “Girls of Summer.” The Sparks became the first girls’ team to compete in a national boys baseball tournament.  Baseball For All runs programming across the United States.

Justine was honored by the Women’s Sport Foundation at their 32nd Annual Salute to Women in Sports Gala. USA Baseball nominated her for an IOC Woman of the Year Award. In 2013 espnW named Justine one of their Everyday Heroes.

Please RSVP for this complimentary lunch forum. The event is free but registration is required.