Hey all –
My name is Devon and I’m the founder of Pittsford Outfitters. I have 4 daughters – darling, wonderful, beautiful, moody, and every now and then a little dramatic daughters. They are a great group of kids, and I learn something from them every day.
Each of my girls is very different than the others, but if they have one thing in common, it’s what they have gotten from being on a team and playing sports with other girls their age.
Two of them are younger and are just getting started in their ‘careers’ and the oldest has just recently found her sport and team, but my middle daughter is the one who I think has been affected by a sport the most, the one who’s gotten the most out of being able to play and to grow both as a player and as a person because of it.
Little-middle-Meg as I like to call her, is a fierce and stylish pre-teen now, but I can remember a few years ago when she would still wear pink princess dresses and run around with fairy wings on her back, just the epitome of a little girly girl... That is until you put her in a pair of shorts and handed her a lacrosse stick and she suddenly transformed into this warrior, a genderless player out there on the field ready to do battle with the competition.
At the time, she had this Under Armor shirt that she loved, a sporty white tee with the slogan ‘Bun Up, Game on’ on the front of it, and watching her and her friends on the field it always struck me just how true that was - they would be these giggling little girls on the ride there, but you’d get to the field, their hair would go up into a bun, and it was game on.
The lessons she’s learned in the past 5 or 6 years playing and the friendships she’s made with her teammates on the field has helped this beautiful young woman in so many ways they are almost immeasurable. All of my girls are wonderful and have many diverse and great qualities of course, but little-middle-Meg is strong, fierce, competitive, confident, loving, compassionate, inclusive, and more… Almost all of which she has learned, gained, and has grown out of her time on a team or in group activities outdoors.
At the same time, I recognize that we are extremely privileged and blessed in that we can provide these types of opportunities to our girls, opportunities that allow them to be able to learn and grow as people and teammates. We can sign them up for camps and club leagues. Our schools fund and support teams, and we can buy them sticks for lacrosse or field hockey when they want to join them. We can travel to tournaments to give them more playing time on the field and get them in front of college coaches. We can do a lot for our children, and we are extremely lucky that we can - many, many, girls do not have that option, do not have that opportunity.
And that bothers me. A lot.
I think all girls, regardless of their socio-economic background, gain something from being able to play outside, to play a sport, to be a part of a team. They should be able to get the same benefits that my girls can, some of that inclusiveness and compassion that comes from being a part of a team, some of that fierceness and competitive spirit that comes from playing a sport, some of the mental clarity and energy that comes from getting outside. These are things that are important now and are things will help them so much later in life.
But they can’t.
They can’t because their school can’t fund a girl’s lacrosse team, or because they can’t afford a stick if they do. Because they can only afford one pair of shoes and cleats aren’t exactly practical for school. Because it costs hundreds of dollars to go to a tournament for the weekend, or thousands for a season on a club team. Because they are told that they are not as important as the boy’s football team, and that means no girls soccer this year.
They can’t, but they need to be able to.
That bun needs to go up and they need to get their game on now for a better life in the future.
And we can help make that happen.
To do our part, we’ve created what we call our ‘Bun Up Initiative’; a simple promise by us to donate 10% of the profits from sales of all Pittsford Outfitters branded products to help ensure that ALL girls - not just those from affluent suburbs or schools with great athletic programs - have the opportunity to experience and grow through sports and the outdoors.
The funds from this effort will be used to help support girls in sports and get them outdoors – from donating to national organizations, to supporting high school teams, to buying that one random girl a stick so she can play because that’s all that was holding her back, we will do our part to help. A simple promise. A simple act. And yet something so fundamentally important.
Because every girl needs the opportunity to put her hair up in a bun and get out there and play. Bun up. Play. Repeat. For my girls and every girl, every day.
Thanks for your support.