(WNCN) — One of the United States’ most decorated women’s track and field Olympic champions Allyson Felix is breaking barriers with a new partnership that will cover childcare costs for professional mom-athletes traveling to competitions.
Felix’s partnership with Athleta, together with the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), announced today The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants, a first-of-its-kind grant program that commits $200,000 to help fund childcare costs.
The partners also unveiled the first cohort of grant recipients, six of whom are headed to Tokyo; each will receive $10,000 from the Fund, putting its goal — to provide resources that enable mom-athletes to compete without barriers — immediately into action, on the biggest stage in sports.
Initial recipients include Gwendolyn Berry, Natasha Hastings, Aliphine Tuliamuk — each of which are track and field athletes. Others include Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (sitting volleyball), Natalie Schneider (wheelchair basketball), Elana Meyers Taylor (bobsled), Lora Webster (sitting volleyball), Jamie Whitmore (paracycling), and Mariel Zagunis (fencing).
“As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports,” said Felix, six-time Olympic gold medalist, and three-time World Champion. “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.”
In addition to the $10,000 to use toward child care, the recipients will also participate in roundtable discussions hosted by WSF — with two like-minded advocacy partners, & Mother and the National Women’s Law Center, to spark long-term, systemic change across the industry.
“This money has given us such a big breath of relief in the past few weeks,” inaugural recipient Lora Webster added.
For Felix, 35, a six-time Olympic gold medalist, she recently qualified for her fifth consecutive Olympic team. Since 2004 she has won nine medals, including the six gold, which makes her the most decorated American woman in Olympic track and field history.
Read more about the partnership here.