Athleta gives back to mom-athletes with Allyson Felix
Gap-owned brand Athleta announced on Thursday that it is teaming up with Allyson Felix and the Women's Sports Foundation to launch a first-of-its-kind grant program that commits $200,000 to help fund child care costs for professional mom-athletes traveling to competitions.
Dubbed 'The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants', the first cohort of grant recipients include nine athletes, six of whom are headed to Tokyo. In addition to the $10,000they will receive 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.
"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.”
Felix has been open about her trials as a mother and an athlete since May 2019, when she penned an op-ed for the New York Times announcing the end of her affiliation with Nike. What was most shocking was the reason for her departure: the unfair treatment of pregnant athletes, which she had witnessed firsthand.
Felix has since partnered with Athleta, as her sponsor since July 2019. Now ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, another light has been shined on the inequalities between men's and women's sports, from visibility to resources and investment.
Next, The Power of She Fund will announce its next group of recipients in October, and any mom-athletes in need of support for their childcare expenses can apply.
"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," said Deborah Antoine, WSF CEO.
"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."
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