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Allyson Felix and Athleta to Offer Childcare Grants to Olympian Moms

"As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports…These grants are about showing the industry that all mom-athletes need this same comprehensive support to be able to participate in their athletic endeavors."
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
July 12, 2021
Allyson Felix holds her daughter, after day nine of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field.
Image: Steph Chambers / Getty Images

Olympian Allyson Felix, Athleta and the Women’s Sports Foundation are teaming up to announce a new first-of-its-kind grant program to help with child care.

The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants is committing $200,000 to help support child care costs for professional mom athletes when they travel to competitions, with the goal of allowing them to compete with barriers. “This year, a light has been shined on the inequalities between men’s and women’s sports, from visibility to resources and investment,” the press release says. “This grant program is an important step toward supporting female athletes holistically and holding the industry accountable for closing the gaps.”

Felix, six-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion, also said in the press release. “As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports. It was important to me and to Athleta that our partnership reflects that I am more than just an athlete. In fact, part of my contract includes provisions for my daughter, Camryn, to join me whenever I am competing. But not everyone has access to this type of support from a partner or sponsor. These grants are about showing the industry that all mom-athletes need this same comprehensive support to be able to participate in their athletic endeavors.”

The first cohort of the grant recipients are nine moms—six of whom are headed to the Tokyo Olympics—who will each get $10,000 from the Fund to use toward childcare. "Balancing training with being a full-time mom is not always a pretty picture. We don’t have family nearby to help with the child care, so much of my training happens in our home with my kids acting as trainers. There have been many instances where we simply can’t justify the cost of a babysitter on top of the cost of the gym and training site, so my training falls by the wayside,” Lora Webster, Sitting Volleyball Player, mother of a 10- 8- and 5-year-old, and Power of She Fund: Child Care Grant recipient, said in the release, adding, “This money has given us such a big breath of relief in the past few weeks.”

“Our vision at the Women’s Sports Foundation is to unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport and movement,” Deborah Antoine, WSF CEO said. “The expense of child care is one of the biggest challenges facing mom-athletes who want to stay in the game while also raising a family. These grants will help provide financial relief so that these powerful and inspiring women can continue to compete at the highest levels in their sport.”

The Grant is currently accepting applications for its next round of recipients.

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