More than
an athlete.

Athlete Serving Programs

Our mentorship and leadership development programs are dedicated to advancing and inspiring champion women athletes while making the playing field more inclusive. We also support athletes transitioning from a competitive sports career to the next chapter of their lives.

Athlete Leadership Connection

The WSF is committed to providing athletes with the skills and exposure needed to advance in their sports, or to transition to successful careers after competition, thus, we created the Athlete Leadership Connection.

The Athlete Leadership Connection (ALC) is an annual event established by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) connecting top industry leaders with professional and collegiate female athletes. The mission is to impact, cultivate and inspire the next generation of female athletes as leaders both on and off the court.

This is an invitation-only event attended by 40 champion athletes and 40 NCAA student-athletes from over a dozen diverse universities. The program is a one-of-a-kind, hands-on leadership training experience.

ALC Conference Agenda

Workshops, Panels and much more!

Interactive workshops led by experts are designed to provide attendees with inspiration, skills and resources for their future. All athletes will participate in the Extreme YOU Workshop led by Sarah Robb O’Hagan, identifying their competitive advantage and developing behaviors that are proven to bring out their highest potential.

During our lunch break, participants will be the audience as Julie Foudy chats with Billie Jean King for a live recording of her podcast. “Laughter Permitted” is a fun, thoughtful, candid conversation with trailblazers in sports about the joy/chaos of life and sports.

The afternoon continues with breakout sessions and a fireside chat about mental health. College athletes will participate in a special session on job search and interview skills, led by the VP and HR Director of the New York Mets.

Networking Blitz

There is nothing more important than your community and the people you connect with. All conference attendees will meet with industry leaders to grow their network and strengthen their connections. More than 40 professionals from a variety of fields including communications, marketing, financial services, education, sports business, STEM, coaching and athletic administration will participate.

Networking Cocktail Hour

Mix and mingle with the connections made throughout the day! Companies attending have included the New York Mets, Morgan Stanley, Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, Major League Baseball and ESPN.

Event Partners

The Travel & Training Fund

The Travel & Training Fund provides financial support to female athletes with potential to be elite who have demonstrated financial need and who would not otherwise be able to afford basic necessities like coaching, travel and equipment, to achieve even higher performance levels and rankings, without our help.

Since 1984, we have awarded grants to more than 1500 individual athletes and teams – including figure skaters Michelle Kwan and Tarah Kayne, diver Mary Ellen Clark, track sprinter Scout Bassett, bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor, the U.S. Women’s National Water Polo Team and U.S. Deaf Soccer Women’s National Team.

Special thanks to our Travel & Training Fund partner Gatorade, who helps to fuel the athletic performance of female athletes with its generous support.

Deadlines and Relevant Dates

Online applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on May 31, 2019. Please note that it may take up to three months for a decision to be made on your grant application. Grants will be disbursed during the second quarter of 2019.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • Individual applicants and all members of a team must be female U.S. citizens or legal residents and be eligible to compete for a U.S. national team.
  • Applicants must have amateur status.
  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need. The WSF approves grants that will have a significant and lasting impact on the applicant. A request needs to demonstrate a visible, apparent and immediate financial need and be consistent with the Travel & Training Fund’s mission.
  • Applicants must have a successful competitive record within their sport and/or age group.
  • Applicants must demonstrate the ability, based on competitive record and years in training, to reach and compete at an elite level.
 Those that have competed regionally (outside their state), nationally and/or internationally and/or are ranked by a national governing body.
  • In order to qualify for a team application, a team must consist of two or more females.
  • An individual or team may be awarded only one grant per calendar year and a maximum of three grants to an individual or team in a lifetime.

Who is Not Eligible to Apply?

  • High school, college, university (intercollegiate or club) or community recreation sports teams cannot apply.
  • Any athlete who is a member of a team already applying for a team grant may not also apply for an individual grant in the same grant period.

College Eligibility

Per the NCAA, for Division I and Division III athletes, receipt of this fund for general training expenses will jeopardize a prospective student-athletes or an enrolled student-athlete’s amateur status and make the individual ineligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics at the Division I or Division III level. However, in Division I and III NCAA Amateurism rules allow an individual to receive expenses provided they do not exceed the individuals’ actual and necessary expenses and are related to competition, or practice in preparation for competition. If an individual accepts actual and necessary expenses it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure that its student-athletes comply with NCAA legislation.

Per the NCAA, for Division II athletes, prior to initial full-time enrollment at any collegiate institution, a prospective student-athlete may use her athletics ability for pay without jeopardizing her amateur status provided the competition occurs during her one-year grace period. The one-year grace period is the year between the prospective student-athlete’s date of high school graduation, as determined by the NCAA Eligibility Center, and the next opportunity to enroll after the one calendar-year period has elapsed. However, if a prospective student-athlete delays full-time collegiate enrollment following the one-year grace period and continues to participate in organized competition involving an amateur or professional team(s), the prospective student-athlete may use a season of intercollegiate competition and could be subject to an academic year in residence. (NCAA Division II Bylaw 14.2.4.2). However, in Division II NCAA Amateurism rules allow an individual to receive expenses provided they do not exceed the individuals’ actual and necessary expenses and are related to competition, or practice in preparation for competition. If an individual accepts actual and necessary expenses it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure that its student-athletes comply with NCAA legislation.

Athletes applying for the grant are responsible for checking the financial aid regulations of the NCAA or sports organization governing their current or future high school, college or university to avoid jeopardizing their eligibility for sports participation. For specific questions about your collegiate eligibility, please contact the NCAA or your collegiate institution directly.

Team Grant and College Eligibility

NCAA Amateurism rules allow an individual, on an outside team, to receive expenses from that team provided they do not exceed those individuals’ actual and necessary expenses and are related to competition, or practice in preparation for competition. For example, “general” training expenses would not qualify for this exception, but actual and necessary expenses for meals, lodging and transportation that are directly related to competition would fit within this exception. If an individual accepts actual and necessary expenses it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure that its student-athletes comply with NCAA legislation.

Please note that if an individual receives preferential treatment, and/or a benefit or service because of the individual’s athletic reputation or skill, or pay-back potential as a professional athlete this may affect the student-athlete’s amateur status.

Grant Criteria

A Selection Committee will evaluate each application based on the selection criteria below:

  • Financial need
  • Present and potential level and ranking
  • Lack of financial support from traditional sources (ie. endorsements, National Governing Body stipends)
  • Role of award in continued participation and advancement in sport
  • Potential impact of grant on advancing women in sports
  • Contribution to greater visibility of female athletes
  • Priority given to those who present a plan for reimbursing the grant in the future, whether financially or otherwise contributing to women’s sports
  • Grant Alocation

Grants can be used for coaching, specialized training, equipment, attire and/or travel.

Grant Requirements

Grant recipients must agree to the following:

  • To use the grant for its intended purpose. (e.g. coaching, equipment or travel expenses)
  • To participate in the Athlete Ambassador Program that entails one face-to-face visit with a WSF grantee and at least one virtual connection a year. Ambassadors will be matched with the grantees closest to their communities.
  • To include recognition of your grant and of the Women’s Sports Foundation and Gatorade, in all publicity surrounding your involvement in sports.
  • To be available for interview(s) and personal appearance(s) on behalf of the Women’s Sports Foundation based on advance notice and availability.
  • To provide two progress reports. If you do not satisfy these reporting requirements you will be ineligible to apply for this or any other grant.

Grant Award

Individual grants will vary between $2,500 and $10,000. Up to $100,000 in grants will be awarded each calendar year.

How to Apply

During the program application period, an authorized representative must visit Foundant GLM, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s grant-management system, and follow the directions to register a new user profile or update an existing profile. Limit one (1) profile per person/email address. Once your profile is registered, you will be able to save and submit your application on the website.

Please read carefully through the full eligibility requirements, college guidelines and program criteria before starting a Foundant account and applying. Applicants will be judged on what information is available or provided at the time of application submission.

Special note: Under the organization information, please enter the contact information for your National Governing Body (NGB). A Tax ID number is not required to register (so you may leave that space blank).

Applicants will be judged on what information is available or provided at the time of application submission.

Notification of Application Acceptance

You will receive an e-mail at the e-mail address provided in your profile when your application has been received.

Any application that is late, incomplete or requesting funds for an event or purchase of equipment that will occur before the applicant would receive the grant money will not be accepted.

Other conditions under which an application will not be accepted:

  • Applications that are e-mailed or faxed
  • Applications for programs that require compulsory religious participation
  • Applications requesting funding towards the purchase of land, construction of buildings, event sponsorships and/or providing scholarships to individuals
  • Applications requesting retroactive funding

2019 Recipients

Victoria Anthony, Wrestling Huntington Beach, Calif.
Channing Cash, Paracanoe Los Angeles, Calif.
Kendra Chambers, Track & Field El Paso, Texas
Kelly Curtis, Skeleton Princeton, N.J.
Amy Dixon, Paratriathlon Pound Ridge, N.Y.
Tricia Downing, Shooting Denver, Colo.
Jenna Fesemeyer, Para Track & Field Ravenna, Ohio
Chloe Kirkpatrick, Sled Hockey Bemidji, Minn.
Alexa Knierim, Figure Skating Irvine, Calif.
Mikiah Kreps, Boxing Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Rebecca Mann, Swimming Homer Glen, Ill.
Nzingha Prescod, Fencing Brooklyn, N.Y.
Allie Reilly, Para Rowing North Kingstown, R.I.
Allysa Seely, Paratriathlon Glendale, Ariz.
Pratima Sherpa, Golf Kathmandu, Nepal
Laura Wilkinson, Diving Spring, Texas
Meghan O'Leary and Ellen Tomek, Rowing San Carlos, Calif.
USA Climbing Women's Overall National Team

Contact

If after reading these guidelines carefully and reviewing the Travel & Training Fund FAQ, you still have questions, please contact Elizabeth Flores-Amaya: 516.307.3915 or EFlores-Amaya@WomensSportsFoundation.org.

 

Rusty Kanokogi Fund for the Advancement of U.S. Judo

The Rusty Kanokogi Fund for the Advancement of U.S. Judo was established in 2009 to provide direct financial assistance to afford young female judoka the opportunity to train and compete worldwide in pursuit of Olympic excellence.

Established by Richard Ader, the Fund is named in honor of the late Rena “Rusty” Kanokogi who is considered the mother of women’s judo. Kanokogi held a seventh-degree black belt in judo, making her the highest-ranking American woman in the sport of judo and she fought for more than two decades to make judo an Olympic sport.

Deadlines and Relevant Dates

2019 application closed.

Grant Eligibility

Individual applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents and be eligible to compete for a U.S. national team.
Applicants must be in training for national and international competition.
An individual may be awarded only one grant from the Women’s Sports Foundation per calendar year and a maximum of three grants to an individual in a lifetime.

Grant Criteria

Individuals applying for this grant are evaluated based upon the following criteria:

  • Financial need
  • Present and potential level and ranking
  • Lack of support from traditional sources
  • Role of award in continued participation and advancement
  • Potential impact of grant on advancing women in sports
  • Contribution to greater visibility of female athletes
  • Priority given to those who present a plan for reimbursing the grant in the future, whether financially or otherwise contributing to women’s sports.

Grant and College Eligibililty

Per the NCAA Division I, II and III legislation, it is permissible for an individual to accept this scholarship since this sport is not sponsored at the NCAA level.

Grant Allocation

Grants can be used for coaching, specialized training, equipment, attire and/or travel.

Grant Award

A total of $5,000 in grants will be awarded each calendar year. The Fund is replenished through earnings on the endowment and donations.

How to Apply

During the program application period, an authorized representative must visit Foundant GLM, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s grant-management system, and follow the directions to register a new user profile or update an existing profile. Limit one (1) profile per person/email address. Once your profile is registered, you will be able to save and submit your application on the website.

Please read carefully through the eligibility requirements and program criteria before starting a Foundant account and applying. Applicants will be judged on what information is available or provided at the time of application submission.

Under the organization information, please enter the contact information for USA Judo. A Tax ID number is not required to register (so you may leave that space blank).

Notification of Application Acceptance

You will receive an e-mail at the e-mail address provided in your profile when your application has been received.

Any application that is late, incomplete or requesting funds for an event or purchase of equipment that will occur before the applicant would receive the grant money will not be accepted.

Other conditions under which an application will not be accepted:

  • Applications that are e-mailed or faxed
  • Applications for programs that require compulsory religious participation
  • Applications requesting funding towards the purchase of land, construction of buildings, event sponsorships, providing scholarships to individuals and/or the purchase/care of animals
  • Applications requesting retroactive funding

Contact

If after reading these guidelines carefully you still have questions, please contact Elizabeth Flores-Amaya: 516.307.3915 or EFlores-Amaya@WomensSportsFoundation.org.

Women In the Winner’s Circle Project Podium Grant

A strong advocate for women in the motorsports industry, particularly women who aspire to the professional level in racing, Lyn St. James established the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation (WWCF) in 1994, and announced the first ever Project Podium scholarship fund in 2007.

One of the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation’s signature programs was the Women in the Winner’s Circle Academy: The Complete Driver. The Academy became the most comprehensive educational and training program of its kind for gifted women racers providing the skills on the track and off the track to be competitive in motor sports. Since its inception, more than 230 women drivers from five countries and 33 states, including Danica Patrick, Erin Crocker, Melanie Troxel and Sarah Fisher, have participated in this invitation-only academy.

Building on the academy’s success, St. James felt it was important to provide financial resources to these talented drivers as well as training. In 2007, Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation announced the first scholarship fund for women race car drivers, Project Podium, with a donation from Newman’s Own Foundation. Since then, this industry-wide scholarship has been available to female race car drivers from all forms of racing, including go kart, quarter midget, drag racing, sports car racing, oval track racing, etc.

In 2013, the St. James combined resources with the Women’s Sports Foundation to establish the Women’s Sports Foundation Women in the Winner’s Circle Project Podium grant. The Fund is committed to create a diverse talent pool in motorsports and empower drivers with ability to generate financial resources to grow and sustain their racing careers; therefore, those who apply, qualify, and are approved will receive a grant on a matched fund basis only. One goal of this program is to help teach drivers how to raise sponsorship funds.

Grant Deadlines

The 2018-19 application window is from August 1 through October 31, 2018. Applicants will be notified by November 30, 2018, and the 2018-19 grants will be awarded the first quarter of 2019.

Grant Eligibility

Proof that funds equal to the funding amount requested have been raised from sponsorship or other forms of support for her racing for the specific racing series and season identified.
A minimum of three years of racing experience.
A complete racing resume with available supporting documentation such as qualifying sheets or box scores; media coverage; photographs, etc.

Grant Criteria

  • Financial need;
  • Present and potential level and ranking;
  • Show of support from traditional motorsports sources; (ex. Tires, fuel, lubricants, apparel)
  • Potential impact of grant on advancing women in motor sports;
  • Priority given to those who present a plan for reimbursing the grant in the future, whether financially or otherwise contributing to women in motor sports;
  • Limit of grant request is based on the grantee’s ability to secure matching funds (1:1) from sponsors or other resources; and
  • Grantees will be required to display a Women’s Sports Foundation mark (logo) and Project Podium patch on their race suit and/or helmet and decals on race vehicle and support equipment (location TBD) as well as include information regarding the grant in press and marketing materials, including websites.

Administration

In addition to Lyn St. James, a panel of motorsports experts and business professionals selects each recipient from a list of qualified applicants.

Grant Requirements

Grant recipients must agree to the following:

  • Complete a final report(s) about how the funding was used and their racing results
  • Promote the Women’s Sports Foundation Project Podium grant through logos and inclusion in media materials and interviews.

Grant Award

The number of grants will depend on the number of qualified applications received and the amount of funding available annually.

How to Apply

During the program application period, an authorized representative must visit Foundant GLM, the Women’s Sports Foundation’s grant-management system, and follow the directions to register a new user profile or update an existing profile. Limit one (1) profile per person/email address. Once your profile is registered, you will be able to save and submit your application on the website.

Under the organization information, please enter the information for your Team. A Tax ID number is not required to register (so you may leave that space blank).

Please read carefully through the full eligibility requirements and program criteria before starting a Foundant account and applying. Applicants will be judged on what information is available or provided at the time of application submission.

Notification of Application Acceptance

You will receive an e-mail at the e-mail address provided in your profile when your application has been received.

Any application that is late, incomplete or requesting funds for an event or purchase of equipment that will occur before the applicant would receive the grant money will not be accepted.

Other conditions under which an application will not be accepted:

  • Applications that are e-mailed or faxed
  • Applications for programs that require compulsory religious participation
  • Applications requesting funding towards the purchase of land, construction of buildings, event sponsorships, providing scholarships to individuals and/or the purchase/care of animals
  • Applications requesting retroactive funding

2018 Recipients

Abigail McLaughlinMooresville, Ind.
Brittany ZamoraKennewick, Wash.
Courtney CroneCorona, Calif.
Hannah GrishamGlendora, Calif.
Jenna GrilloMadison, Wis.
Kendall HedgeIndianapolis, Ind.
Lauren EdgertonMilford, Va.
Madison CampeauMooresville, N.C.
Makala MarksAvon, Ind.
Melissa ParisOceanside, Calif.
Sarah MontgomeryLafayette, La.

Contact

If after reading these guidelines carefully you still have questions, please contact Elizabeth Flores-Amaya: 516-307-3915 or EFlores-Amaya@WomensSportsFoundation.org.

More information about Lyn St. James, the Women’s in the Winner’s Circle Foundation and The Complete Driver Academy may be found at www.lynstjames.com.