Play Academy with Naomi Osaka expands to Los Angeles and Haiti to empower more girls through play and sport

Girls soccer team posing for photo
GOALS advances youth leadership through soccer and education to create stronger, healthier communities in rural Haiti ©GOALS Haiti

Play Academy with Naomi Osaka, an initiative launched in Tokyo in August 2020, led by the multiple Grand Slam champion and aimed at changing girls’ lives through play and sport, announced today that it is expanding to Los Angeles and Haiti.

Play Academy aims to level the playing field for girls by increasing girls’ participation in sport; investing in fun, positive play experiences that invite young women to become role models; and training coaches in how to create more inclusive play and sport environments.

Los Angeles

  • In Los Angeles, Play Academy will partner with a range of community organizations working to support girls – prioritizing Black, Asian and Latinx communities – to ensure they have more opportunities to access and benefit from play and sport. Girls who are active are not only healthier and do better in school, in their careers and in the community, they also have an increased sense of self, positive coping skills and increased goal setting
  • The call for Expressions of Interest for LA grants is now open and play and sport-based organizations may apply here. The first group of grantees is scheduled to be announced in the summer of 2021. 


  • In Haiti, Play Academy is partnering with GOALS Haiti, in support of their mission to advance youth leadership through sport and education to create stronger, healthier communities in rural Haiti. 
  • With support from Play Academy, GOALS Haiti aims to empower more girls with the opportunity to access and benefit from play and sport by hiring more female coaches and providing gender-based education and lessons on creating positive, healthy habits.

The initiative, launched by NIKE, Inc. together with Naomi Osaka and Laureus Sport for Good, and supported by several corporate partners, made its first grants in Tokyo earlier this year. 

The expansion is a testament to Naomi, Nike and Laureus’ commitment to Play Academy’s goals, and it has earned the support of other companies including Laureus’ Global Partner MUFG, Mastercard, BODYARMOR Sports Drink, Yonex and Levi Strauss & Co. that are committed to giving the next generation of girls more opportunities to access and benefit from play and sport. 

Article by Play Academy