Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix is preparing for her fifth Olympic Games, and she’s taking from her own experiences as a mother to provide financial resources to other athlete moms of young children.
Partnering with her sponsor Athleta, a women’s athleticwear brand, Felix and the Women’s Sports Foundation to create The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants.
The grant program is committing $200,000 to help fund child care costs for mothers who are also athletes while they travel between competitions.
Previously, Felix, 35, who qualified for the 400 meter race at the U.S. Olympic trials in June, has been open about the challenges of balancing the challenges of motherhood and competing. She is mother to a 2 ½ year old daugher. She’s also voiced her concern regarding the lack of clarity for whether female athletes could bring their small children to the Tokyo Olympics.
“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,” Felix said in a release, according to USA Today. “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.”
So far, nine athlete mothers, six of whom will be heading to the Tokyo Games, have been named grant recipients. Each will receive $10,000 and are Gwendolyn Berry (Track & Field), Natasha Hastings (Track & Field), Kaleo Kanahele Maclay (Sitting Volleyball), Natalie Schneider (Wheelchair Basketball), Elana Meyers Taylor (Bobsled), Aliphine Tuliamukc (Track & Field), Lora Webster (Sitting Volleyball), Jamie Whitmore (Paracycling), Mariel Zagunis (Fencing).
Those who received grants will also be able to participate in roundtable discussions over creating systemic change in regards to supporting competing mothers.