The youth of Girls Inc. of L.A. pose with Sparks guards Jordin Canada and Zia Cooke and Jr. Sparks coach San Dixon (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The Los Angeles Sparks and Chargers collaborated with Mattel and Girls Inc. to host a Play It Forward Youth clinic. Sparks guards Jordin Canada and Zia Cooke along with Jr. Sparks coach San Dixon took the youth of Girls Inc. through unique dribbling and running drills.

“These girls live 15 minutes from the center of so many incredible companies and brands,” said Girls Inc. of L.A. CEO Erin Ross. “To not only be at Mattel but to have the Chargers and the Sparks come and do this workshop just for our girls, it feels incredible.”

The participants took part in a basketball and flag football clinic on the Mattel campus in El Segundo.

Canada participates in drills with the youth (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“Growing up, I didn’t have these types of opportunities, so it’s nice to always give back,” Canada said. “To see the smiles on their faces and just having fun out here, it’s a blessing.”

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Cooke noted how some of the girls expressed their excitement to play basketball with a professional athlete.

“That type of stuff drives me,” Cooke said. “She said hopefully one day she could play like me, that’s literally what I do it for.”

Games like Rock, Paper, Scissors were incorporated into the drills. Dixon wanted to ensure the youth had fun while learning the basics of basketball.

“I know that kids learn in different ways and not every kid is picking up a ball to become the next WNBA star, they’re just here to have a good time with their friend,” Dixon said. “Before we started, I asked the girls what they were looking forward to and they just want to have fun.”

Chargers manager of football development Angellica Grayson (left) teaches youth flag football (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

After participating in the basketball clinic, the youth participated in running and flag pulling drills led by Chargers manager of football development Angellica Grayson.

“All these drills are just helping them understand the game of flag football,” Grayson said. “From the very beginning, before we did our drills, we taught them how to pull the flags because a lot of people don’t know how to properly pull a flag.”

The youth learned about the proper stances and how to carry a football. They also got a chance to show off their touchdown dances. Grayson informed the youth that competing in flag football can lead to college scholarships in the sport.

After the clinics, the young girls received a bag full of Mattel toys. Mattel Children’s Foundation executive director Nancy Molenda explained how representation matters when teaching girls they can be anything they want to be.

“We really wanted to bring Girls Inc. L.A. here who we have partnered with and sponsored different events and introduce them to the amazing women of the WNBA … so that they can see the role models,” Molenda said. “It’s in Mattel’s DNA to support the community where we live, work, and play and so we’re thrilled to have all these community partners show up on Mattel campus.”