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 March 31, 2020. 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 third quarter of 2020.
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.
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 18.104.22.168). 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.
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 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.
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
|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|