Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka sets up initiative in Tokyo to improve sports opportunities for girls
Tennis star Naomi Osaka has launched a new initiative with the aim to help boost girls’ participation in sport in Tokyo.
The 22 year-old has created a scheme called ‘Play Academy’ that is set to focus on providing opportunities for girls and help them stay active.
Tokyo has some of the highest global rates for young girls dropping out of sport by the age of 15.
Osaka, who has won two grand slams, said: "Around the world, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys – and some girls, especially girls from underrepresented communities – never even get a chance in the first place and I want to do something about it.
"Our vision is to help level the playing field by changing the game for girls – starting in Tokyo, a city that means a lot to my family and me.
"I believe in the power of sport to create bigger change, and I’m passionate about inspiring the next generation of female athletes."
The scheme will be run in partnership with Nike and Laureus Sport for Good and will provide grants to community organisations which will use physical activity to help improve girls lives in Japan.
Chief executive of Laureus Sport for Good Global Adam Fraser added: "Helping to facilitate the power of athletes to inspire children and young people to change the world for the better is at the core of Laureus’ work.
"This initiative, championed by a role model like Naomi, will provide new opportunities for girls in Tokyo to benefit from sport and will support our ambition to contribute to girls’ and womens’ equal participation and leadership."