Celebrating the diverse passions and experiences of female athletes aged 7-14 is Christin Rose’s mission – one she hopes will help young girls become more confident and comfortable through her #ShePlaysWeWin photography project. The LA-based photographer hopes the photo series will also help balance out other images that young girls see in the media.
“The other day I was thinking about when I was 10, if somebody older than me told me I was good at something or that I was pretty, even when I was wearing a dirty jersey and cleats, I never forgot it – it gave me loads of confidence,” says Christin.
“That sentiment is exactly what I want to do on a larger level with #ShePlaysWeWin. If other little girls can see images and stories of girls their age who are doing what they want, rocking their own unique style and following their passions, they will be inspired to do the same.”
Here’s what the project means to Christin (and the long list of girls who are featured).
Why is #ShePlaysWeWin your passion project – were you sporty growing up?
Yes, I definitely was. I grew up surrounded by sports as my dad was a football coach. I was encouraged from a young age to play sports. It wasn’t until after I went through the transition of giving sports up in college and finding other passions that I realised all the unbelievable life lessons that I learnt from sports. And that’s why I decided the teamwork, discipline, determination and fearlessness that a young girl learns as she participates in athletics is something very much worth celebrating.
What role do you think sport can play in empowering young women?
To be a young girl in society today is so hard, but sport comes through and can combat doubts that young girls may have about their confidence – by making girls feel powerful, confident and talented from the inside out. If a young girl can get through the challenges of learning a sport, failing, succeeding, learning the skills it takes to meet their goals, you can bet she’s going to feel a lot more confident in everything she does. It’s so incredibly important to highlight to these young women now, before they even get to an age where they can question themselves.
How did you get this project off the ground and find your first athletes to shoot?
Well, in the beginning, it started out that I would reach out to organisations to get the girls. Beyond that, it has been a mix of girls from different teams and organisations in Southern California, but some of the girls, like star skater Poppy Starr, were in town from Australia and Sky Brown from Japan. I’m really excited about this mission extending throughout the country and potentially the world, though! I’ve gotten emails from amazing girls with unique stories, everywhere from Kentucky to Indonesia.
How can people get involved?
Every sport is as important as the next. Every little girl’s story carries the same magic and importance. That’s why I’m really encouraging girls to take photos of each other and post using the hashtag, so even if I can’t photograph them because they are too far away, their story still gets out there and I can write back and start a conversation.