Allyson Felix Creates Fund For Women Athletes In Need Of Childcare Assistance
Felix recently shared how Nike failed to provide her with maternity protections while she was pregnant in 2017.
July 14, 2021 at 11:15 pm
Track and field star Allyson Felix, 35, is looking out for mom-athletes who will be competing in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics this summer.
Felix launched “The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants” to eliminate childcare costs for female athletes who are mothers and travel frequently for competitions, USA Today reported.
Funding for the grant program is provided by Felix’s sponsor, Gap’s Athleta and the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Felix says this foundation is important to her because she knows firsthand what it’s like to balance being an Olympic athlete and a mom.
"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.
“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," she added.
The 35-year-old is hoping to help mom-athletes who aren't financially equipped to leave their children behind in order to compete in the Olympics this summer.
Women who are breastfeeding will now be allowed to bring their children to the games, however, mothers who are not breastfeeding will have to leave their children at home which puts a financial strain on some, CNBC reported.
Nine women have been named grant recipients including track and field athletes Gwendolyn Berry, Natasha Hastings and Aliphine Tuliamukc. Volleyball players Kaleo Kanahele Maclay and Lora Webster, basketball player Natalie Schneider, bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor, para-cyclist Jamie Whitmore and fencing athlete Mariel Zagunia have also been named as recipients of the grant. Each recipient will receive $10,000 and will be asked to participate in future roundtable discussions about how competitions can better support mothers who compete.
“When I think about the world that Cammy will grow up in, I don’t want her — or any other woman or girl — to have to fight the battles that I fought,” Felix told CNBC.
Felix is an accomplished track and field athlete who has won nine medals over the course of her Olympic career. Since attending her first games in 2004, she has won six gold and three silver medals. The 35-year-old qualified for the 400 meters event during the U.S. Olympic trials in June and will be competing in the Tokyo games.
Back in 2017 when she was pregnant, Felix said Nike failed to provide her with maternity protection, Insider reported. She ultimately signed a contract with Athleta which is a woman-focused apparel company.