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Helping USA T&F Athletes

posted by amyYB, a Women Talk Sports blogger
today, April 1, 2013 at 2:59pm EDT

About amyYB:

Track Athlete, 2008 Olympian - 10,000 meters, Celiac Athlete, 6-time US National Champion, 2009 IAAF World Championships - 6th place 10,000 meters, 15-Time NCAA All-American, 14:56 5,000 meter P.R., 3...more

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April 2013

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

The last blog talked about my goal of starting a new type of training group with a different sponsorship idea.  Some have asked what they can do in their areas to help athletes.  I have a few suggestions for businesses, clubs and individuals.  You can directly or indirectly help the athletes by hiring them, sponsoring them, donating to foundations or donating to clubs or training centers.  I have tried to include every way to help.  If I am missing one please let me know so I can get the information out.

  • Running Clubs – Hire an athlete to come speak at your annual banquet, put on a clinic, or be an honorary guest at a race.  The athletes can gain more fans and a little financial support by getting involved.
  • Track Clubs – You can do the same and have a bigger pool of athletes to pull from.  Field event athletes are the group that needs the greatest support. 
  • Businesses – You could sponsor an athlete and in return they could do appearances for your business at Boys and Girls clubs, girl scouts, boy scouts, YMCA’s, park departments, and the list goes on.  The athlete and the business get connected to the community and inspire kids to try track & field.  Kids respond to athletes that are from the area.  They see the athletes as someone they can aspire to be.

Businesses could also contact local schools to see if the schools would be interested in having an athlete come to the school and participate in PE classes, talk with the track & field team or speak to the school about goal setting or a healthy lifestyle. 

HOW DO YOU CONTACT AN ATHLETE?

  1. Visit  the USATF website  http://www.usatf.org/Athlete-Bios.aspx
  2. In the athlete filter, only fill in the state you are located.
  3. The pictures of the athletes in that state will appear to the right of the box.  The athletes are listed by the state they are currently living or training. 
  4. Click on the athlete and the full bio.
  5. If the athlete has an agent then you need to contact that agent.
  6. To contact the agent, visit:   http://www.usatf.org/groups/AthleteRepresentatives/directory/
  7. Click the agents name and their contact information will appear.
  8. I would suggest calling, they seem to be busy and don’t usually respond to emails. 
  9. PLEASE NOTE: agents take 15-20% of any appearance fees.

You can also try their personal websites, twitter or Facebook.  Thanks to Google and Facebook most people can be found.  Most websites have a contact page but they could be managed by someone other than the athlete and the information may not get to the athlete. 

 

  • Individuals and Businesses – you can donate to the many organizations, foundations or groups that already help to fund athletes.  These include:

 

RRCA Roads Scholar Fund (501(C) (3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax-deductible)

http://www.rrca.org/about/support/     (scroll down to the Roads Scholar donate button)

“Since 1996, the RRCA has awarded grants totaling over $360,000 (as of 2011) through the Roads Scholar® program. The goal of the program is to assist American post collegiate runners who show great promise to develop into national and world-class road running athletes. The grants awarded by the RRCA go directly to the athletes to help support their goals of becoming world-class distance runners. The program is directed towards runners who are US citizens, have graduated from college, plan to pursue elite distance running as a career, and expect to earn less than $30,000 from all sources during the calendar year. The RRCA’s goal is to provide four to six $5,000 grants per year to deserving athletes. Since the programs inception, the RRCA has funded 84 elite athletes.”

 

USA TRACK & FIELD FOUNDATION  

https://www.usatf.org/foundation/give/step1.asp

“The USA Track & Field Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track and field programs, with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors, major gifts and from generous fans of track and field. Donations may be directed toward a specific program.”

http://usatffoundation.org

Both groups are helping the athletes with money for training.  USA Track & Field Foundation helps many of the field event athletes.  The RRCA helps the distance runners and has taken over the Run Pro Website, http://runpro.com/.  The RRCA will also host the Run Pro Camp.  They describe it:

The RunPro Camp is designed for distance runners who are interested in pursuing a professional running career. The next RunPro Camp will be held July 19-21, 2013 in Arlington, VA.   Applications for the RunPro camp will be due May 10, 2013. 

The topics covered will include: agents, health care, taxes, sponsorship, coaches, training groups, road race recruitment and anything else related to professional distance running.

RRCA notes:  that there is a limited amount of funding for travel reimbursement, as well as a limited number of rooms available. All applications will be reviewed, and you will be notified by June 1 if your travel and lodging will be covered. If funding does not cover your attendance at this camp, you will still have the opportunity to attend if you cover your travel and lodging costs.

 

There are groups and training centers set up for athletes.  These groups have been helping athletes bridge the gap between college and professional running.  Some of the programs have been around for 10 years and others are just beginning.  They are all working hard to help the athletes.  I am sure any of the groups would be thrilled to take donations or sponsorship.  The RunPro site,

 

http://runpro.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24:us-training-centers&catid=7&Itemid=32  lists the following groups and training centers for distance runners:

 

v  Team USA Minnesota - www.teamusaminnesota.org

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

v  Hansons-Brooks Distance Project - www.hansons-running.com

  • Rochester Hills, MI

v  Team Michigan Elite - http://teammichiganelite.org/

  • Ann Arbor, MI

v  New Jersey-New York Track Club - www.njnytc.com

  • Piscataway, NJ

v  Zap Fitness - www.zapfitness.com

  • Blowing Rock, NC

v  Austin Track Club - www.austintrackclub.com

  • Austin, TX

v  Team USA Arizona - www.teamusaarizona.org

  • Flagstaff, AZ

v  Team Rogue Elite - www.teamrogue.org

  • Austin, TX

v  American Distance Project - www.americandistanceproject.com

  • Colorado Springs, CO

v  Bay Area Track Club - www.bayareatrackclub.com

  • San Francisco, CA

v  Boulder Track Club - www.bouldertrackclub.com

  • Boulder, CO

v  Mammoth Track Club - www.mammothtrackclub.com

  • Mammoth, CA

v  Team Run Eugene - www.teamruneugene.org

  • Eugene, OR

v  NE Distance - http://nedistance.org/

  • Rhode Island

 

I hope to add my group to this list by the end of 2014.  Distance Divas Elite is in the very beginning stages of development.  I am applying for 501c3 status and applying for grants and scholarships for the kids programs that the group will do for funding.  I am looking to base the group in IN, KY or TN.  I would like to do the kids programs throughout IN, KY, TN and OH.  If you are interested in helping Distance Divas Elite go to www.distancedivas.com and click on Distance Elite.  If you would like information about sponsoring the kids programs please email me at begleytrack@hotmail.com.

 

It is time to think outside of the box for sponsorship and some of the groups are already doing that. An example is Zap Fitness, who runs retreats for runners to help support their group. It is also time to find a way to increase track fans.  What would convince you to attend a track meet?  What would get your family to attend?  If you had a connection to an athlete would you go watch them compete?

 

 

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