Grants provide financial help for Olympic hopefuls
With the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremonies just six and a half months away, the Sacramento Running Association today announced it will award up to $15,000 in Olympic Hopeful grants. The recipients will receive financial support ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to help cover specialized training, competition, medical or auxiliary expenses as they pursue their Olympic dream.
The SRA’s Olympic Hopeful grant is open to elite runners who live and train in the Sacramento area, or who are from the Sacramento area.
"The goal of these grants is to help athletes that have hopes of making an Olympic team make that final push to take their preparation to the next level in the final few months that will be critical in their pursuit of Olympic dreams," said Scott Abbott, executive director of the Sacramento Running Association.
The grants will be dispersed over three different award levels - Gold ($5,000), Silver ($2,500) and Bronze ($1,000). Athletes will be selected based on their achievement in the sport, likelihood of making the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and their connection to the Sacramento community.
"Professional athletes in Olympic sports traditionally are severely under-supported, as many have to work full or part-time jobs to make ends meet while trying to balance the demands of training, competition, and preparing their bodies to be in optimal condition," added Abbott.
"The Olympic Games are a fulcrum for these athletes' careers; how they perform in an Olympic year, not only has a key role in defining meaning and reward for many years of extreme sacrifice and hard work, but also can determine whether an athlete continues in the sport.
"We feel that it is our duty as keeper's of the sport in Sacramento to help these athletes, anyway we can, leave no stone unturned in their Olympic pursuit."
The grant recipients will be announced on Feb. 10 and will be awarded and recognized at the Sacramento Running Association Hall of Fame and Annual Achievement Awards event on Feb. 27.
For more information, visit RunSRA.com.
The Sacramento Running Association has a history of supporting elite Sacramento-area long distance runners as they pursue Olympic, national, and regional success.
In 2012, the SRA established a training grant for local runners who were Olympic hopefuls heading into the London Olympic Games. That support resulted in grant recipient Kim Conley making her first Olympic team.
The SRA’s support of Sacramento-area elite runners has continued since then. In addition to grants for training and competition awarded to athletes who live and train in the Sacramento area, the SRA has developed and supports an elite team of runners that help foster the sport of running in Sacramento.
The SRA has also been one of the industry leaders in providing substantial prize money, performance bonuses and travel support for elite runners from all over the world participating in SRA races, including the California International Marathon and the SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run.
The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding new ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.