New York, N.Y., December 14, 2012 – The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) announced its 2012 Travel & Training Fund awarding $100,000 to 23 individual athletes and three teams representing 18 sports. Gymnast Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas, who is among the twenty-six new Travel & Training Fund recipients, has decided to donate her grant back to WSF to help fuel the dreams of another aspiring athlete. Douglas reached a pinnacle of success during the London 2012 Olympic Games earning the team gold medal with The Fierce Five SM and the Olympic all-around title. Douglas accomplished this feat at the young age of 16 and is just the fourth U.S. woman and first African-American to win the title. In October, Douglas was honored for her outstanding achievements by receiving the Women’s Sports Foundation’s coveted Sportswoman of the Year (Individual Sport) Award at its Annual Salute to Women in Sports gala in New York City.
The Foundation received Douglas’s application – submitted by her biggest fan, her mom – prior to her success at the London Olympics. “I am honored to be a 2012 Women’s Sports Foundation Travel & Training Fund recipient and join the ranks of athletes including Michelle Kwan and Mallory Weggemann,” expressed two-time Olympic gold medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas. “Following my achievements this summer, I am humbled by the opportunity to give back to the Foundation to help another young athlete become the best in her sport.”
Travel & Training recipients each receive support ranging from $2,500 to $5,500 to help provide financial fuel in their quest for competitive excellence; grants will be used to cover coaching, specialized training, equipment, attire, or travel expenses. As national sponsor of the Women’s Sports Foundation, GatoradeA A(R) is the leading supporter and designates an annual gift to the Fund to help female athletes reach the highest levels of achievement.
Since 1984, the fund has awarded close to 1,300 grants and $1.5 million to women athletes in a diverse array of sports. Past recipients have gone on to capture national, world championship and Olympic and Paralympic medals, including figure skaters Michelle Kwan and Rachael Flatt, diver Mary Ellen Clark, ski jumper Alissa Johnson, swimmer Mallory Weggemann and the US National Water Polo Team.
The scarcity of funding for women in sports continues to be a decisive factor in and potential barrier to the success of highly talented athletes. “The Women’s Sports Foundation understands the amount of dedication, commitment and focus that it takes for athletes to accomplish their goals and, through Gatorade’s participation, we are thrilled to help enable the success of so many accomplished athletes,” said Kathryn Olson, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “The Travel & Training Fund will help defray the costs of elite-level training for women athletes and their families and will allow them to focus on their athletic pursuits.”
The following list details the recipients of the 2012 Travel & Training Fund. Additionally, WSF’s grant committee is proud to note six grantees competing during the winter sport season in bobsled, ski jumping, cross country skiing, snowboarding, speedskating and figure skating. Full bios can be found by clicking here.
Natalie Vie, Phoenix, AZ, Fencing
Emily Azevedo, Bobsled
US Women’s National Water Polo Team, Water Polo
Erica McLain, Track & Field
Elizabeth Newell, Cycling
Jessica Radmilovic, Waterskiing
Rachael Heiden, Shooting
Liz Podominick, Track & Field
Amy Sowash, Shooting
USA Women’s Boxing National Team, Boxing
Alexandra Lauretano, Waterskiing
Megan Hill, Bobsled
Kristin Hedstrom, Rowing
Amy McGuire, Cycling
Maia Shibutani, Figure Skating
Ashley Steenvoorden, Swimming
Hannah Martin, Judo
Miranda Melville, Track & Field
Hannah Walter, Rhythmic Gymnastics
Carlissa Cochran, Archery
Rosie Brennan, Cross Country Skiing
Heather Herde, Snowboarding
Alissa Johnson, Ski Jumping
Gabrielle Douglas, Gymnastics
Pocock High Performance Team, Rowing
Leah Lambert, Speedskating
Athletes interested in applying for the next grant cycle may review the application, criteria and guidelines for the Travel & Training Fund at www.WomensSportsFoundation.org. WSF will announce the next grant cycle and deadline in early 2013.
About Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation, founded in 1974, is the leader in promoting sports, health and education for girls and women. With Billie Jean King as its founder and ongoing visionary, the Women’s Sports Foundation continues to have a profound impact on female athletics, from its vigorous advocacy of Title IX legislation to providing grants and scholarships, grassroots programs for underserved girls, and groundbreaking research. An agent for change, the foundation has relationships with more than 1,000 of the world’s elite female athletes and is recognized globally for its leadership, vision, strength, expertise and influence. For more information, visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org. Follow the Foundation at www.Facebook.com/WomensSportsFoundation or on Twitter: @WomenSportsFdn.