(NEW YORK) — Allyson Felix is the most decorated athlete in the world and she’s on the brink of striking more gold at this year’s Olympics.
In addition to being the all-star athlete that she is, she’s also a devoted mom who’s passionate about empowering other fellow women athletes.
Aligning with that passion, Felix has teamed up with apparel company Athleta and the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) to launch The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants.
This new $200,000 grant program has made a commitment to cover childcare costs for professional mom-athletes traveling to competitions.
The first group of recipients, including six that are also headed to the Tokyo Olympics, will receive $10,000 each.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the families of Olympic athletes, unfortunately, won’t be able to travel to Tokyo. Only nursing children will be allowed to join their moms for the upcoming games.
The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants is aiming to help provide resources to empower mom-athletes to compete without limitations.
“This is going to make a huge difference in their lives,” Felix told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “Childcare is one of the huge barriers that we have to overcome.”
She continued, “I really do hope also that this spurs an industry-wide change, and we look to support women holistically.”
While this won’t be Felix’s first time at the Olympics, it will be her first time competing as a mom to her 2-year-old daughter Camryn.
“As a mom and an athlete, I know firsthand the obstacles women face in sports,” said the six-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion in a statement.
She added, “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.”
One of this year’s grant recipients, sitting volleyball player Lora Webster, who is a mother of three — ages 10, 8 and 5 — shared in a statement that she doesn’t have family nearby to help with child care. She said a lot of her training happens at home with her kids.
“There have been many instances where we simply can’t justify the cost of a babysitter on top of the cost of the gym and training site, so my training falls by the wayside,” she said.
Webster added, “This money has given us such a big breath of relief in the past few weeks.”
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