When she moved to Georgia in 1982, Marilyn started playing goalkeeper on a local women’s soccer team. She represented Georgia at the Over 30 USSF National Cup team competitions for almost 10 years, and continued to play until injuries forced her playing retirement.
Marilyn was instrumental in the reorganization of the existing women’s soccer programs in the Atlanta Area forming the largest women’s league in Georgia. She was the first woman President for Georgia Amateur Soccer Association and has been on the board of directors for over 20 years. She was instrumental in setting policy for girls’ soccer at the local level. The league that she started is still in existence today following the foundation that she implemented.
She was on various women’s sports committees in Georgia and in the US including US Soccer, USSA, and the Women’s Sports Foundation. She was on the Soccer in the Streets Board of Directors helping the secure special grant for the Women’s Sports Foundation for their girls’ soccer program.
She was on the USASA Region III Women’s Committee starting in 1992 and chaired that committee for 3 years. Marilyn was also on the USSF Women’s Committee. She was an advisor and speaker for the First Women’s Leadership Conference for Women in Soccer in December 1993. In 1995, she developed women leadership conferences in
each region of the United States Amateur Soccer Association. Marilyn was the USSF Representative to the first FIFA Seminar on Women’s Soccer in 1992, which was held in Zurich. She was also an alternate for the 1999 FIFA Women’s Symposium held with the Women’s 1999 World Cup. Marilyn was the Chair of the National Coalition for the 1999 FIFA Women ' s World Cup. Marilyn was also a member of the NSCAA Women’s Committee for a number of years. She was also an advisor to the Women’s Soccer Foundation in 1993-1994 and has been on the Advisory Board Member of the Women’s Sports Foundation for soccer since 1993.
She co-founded the Women’s Soccer in 96 with Gail Turbyville, leading the movement to have women’s soccer added to the 1996 Olympics. She was the international spokesperson for the inclusion of women’s soccer in the 1996. She also had an audience with Secretary General of FIFA to request their support. The National Soccer Hall of Fame named its Under 17 Girls Division, the Marilyn Childress Division in the National Series of Soccer in the summers of 1994, 1995 &1996. She encouraged a joint resolution through the US Congress showing support for women’s soccer and for the inclusion to the Olympics which was overwhelming passed.