Press Release

Flatt, Gao among those honored with grants

Women's Sports Foundation awards $100,000 in grants

Rachael Flatt is still unsure of her training plans for next season when she attends Stanford University.
Rachael Flatt is still unsure of her training plans for next season when she attends Stanford University. (Paul Harvath)

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(04/05/2011) - East Meadow, N.Y. -- The Women's Sports Foundation Tuesday announced that its Travel & Training Fund awarded $100,000 in grants to 19 individuals and five teams, representing 21 sports. In partnership with Gatorade®, the 2010 recipients each received financial support ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to help cover coaching, specialized training, equipment, attire or travel expenses.

Many of the athletes have aspirations to compete at upcoming world competitions, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Travel & Training Fund has a long legacy of helping to develop world class athletes. Since 1984, the fund has awarded more than 1,200 grants to more than 950 women athletes and 250 women's teams in a diverse array of sports.

Past recipients have captured national, world championship and Olympic medals, including figure skaters Michelle Kwan and Kristi Yamaguchi, gymnast Kerri Strug, diver Mary Ellen Clark, soccer star Michelle Akers, wheelchair table tennis player Jennifer Johnson and the U.S. Rowing Association.

"As the first charitable organization to offer grants to female athletes with elite potential in both Olympic and non-Olympic sports, we are pleased to have the opportunity to support these athletes, as they move one step closer to achieving their dreams," said Kathryn Olson, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. "These women have put in long hours of training and the Women's Sports Foundation is committed to ensuring athletes competing in all sports have the opportunity to take their years of hard work and dedication to the next level. We look forward to following the Travel & Training Fund recipients along the road to success."

Past recipient Michelle Kwan (Figure Skating), current and past Women's Sports Foundation Presidents Laila Ali (Boxing) and Jessica Mendoza (Softball), and current Foundation trustee Angela Ruggiero (Ice Hockey), also serve as athlete ambassadors for the program.

"I'm fortunate to have been a recipient of the Travel & Training Fund and understand what a huge impact that financial support makes in helping women achieve their dreams," said Kwan. "This is just one example of the many ways that the Women's Sports Foundation continues to have a profound impact on female athletics."

As national sponsor of the Women's Sports Foundation, Gatorade® is the first corporate partner to designate an annual gift to support the program, refreshing the program after a six-year hiatus.

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to refuel this program and provide support to women athletes through our partnership with the Women's Sports Foundation Travel & Training Fund," said Sarah Robb O'Hagan, President of Gatorade North America and PepsiCo Global Chief Marketing Officer for Sports Nutrition. "The Gatorade Company is committed to ensuring women have the resources they need to reach peak levels of achievement and to fueling their future accomplishments."

In addition to the monetary grant administered by the Women's Sports Foundation, athletes will have the option to receive specialized consultation in conjunction with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI). Established in 1985, GSSI employs a team of MS and PhD scientists and researchers who are trained in exercise physiology and sports nutrition. GSSI conducts and publishes research, as well as educates sports health professionals and athletes on sports nutrition and exercise science. The information provided to athletes helps them understand how they can fuel themselves to not only perform better, but also feel better when training or competing.

Rachael Flatt was among the honorees from Colorado, and Christina Gao was the sole grant-winner from Ohio.