In unprecedented times for all across the world during the coronavirus pandemic, WTA founder Billie Jean King is using her network to reach out in support of young athletes.
Partnering with the Women's Sports Foundation and Yahoo Sports, King and more than a half-dozen female superstars from across different sports got together on Saturday for a special virtual panel, #WeKeepPlaying, aimed to motivate and inspire young girls during this challenging time.
“We want to keep the girls exercising and playing,” King said in announcing the event earlier this week. “It helps not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, which we know many are at risk of suffering from right now.”
The decorated panel was also made up of Carli Lloyd (soccer), Katie Ledecky (swimming), Chiney Ogwumike (basketball), Kendall Coyne Schofield (hockey), Scout Bassett (track and field Paralympian) and Sabrina Ionescu (basketball) -- as well as coach Katie Sowers, the first woman to coach in an NFL Super Bowl, and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"I hope that this will help each and every person watching... especially the families on the front lines," King said during the broadcast, "but I also want them to think about the future as well."
Resilience, mental health & compassion are more important than ever.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) April 11, 2020
Join me, special guest @CondoleezzaRice & a star-studded athlete panel on @YahooSports in partnership w/@WomensSportsFdn as we encourage & motivate young athletes.
📺: https://t.co/Ud9HA3nxjB#WeKeepPlaying pic.twitter.com/eCIl4kZrJO
King founded the Women's Sports Foundation in 1974, and the educational nonprofit has spent the last four decades helping to improve access and opportunities for girls and women in sports both in the United States and around the world.
Moderated by journalist Cari Champion, each of the women present for the panel shared their unique stories, took questions from fans via social media and offered their words of wisdom and encouragement to those watching.
"All of us have a chance here, every single one of us as a leader, has a platform to keep pushing forward for future generations," King added.
"I stand on people older than me... people like Althea Gibson, who I admired so much. She changed my life. I just want to thank everyone, and [we'll] just keep going forward."
Looking for the full broadcast? Find it in the video below!
Thanks to everyone who tuned in to #WeKeepPlaying to hear from some of the most iconic women in sport!— Women's Sports Foundation (@WomensSportsFdn) April 11, 2020
If you didn't get a chance to watch live — or just want to relive the inspiring conversation — the full replay is available thanks to @YahooSports!https://t.co/S8Btfzly9L