The goal of the Distance Divas Elite group is to help US distance women to bridge the gap between collegiate and professional running. Too many talented young women slip through the cracks due to the limited number of well-funded opportunities that are available.
The US collegiate system is one of the best funded athletic systems in the world. The top NCAA Divsion one athletic programs have an annual budget that is larger than the entire USOC budget. The funding of aspiring Olympic track athletes have traditionally be left to the major shoe companies. Top athletes continue to make an adequate amount to train full-time and fully fund their medical, training, and travel needs. In the tough economy, too many talented athletes do not get this assistance.
Amy was a good example of this type of athlete. She signed a contract for a few thousand dollars after coming out of college. She was a 15-time NCAA All-American and a 2-time NCAA National Champion, but shoe companies were operating under tight budgets, so she was passed by for a big contract. Between 2001 and 2007, Amy struggled to make enough money to support her training. She worked various jobs, she skipped critical support such as massage and chiropractic care, and she made training/racing decisions based on paying the bills instead of focusing on long-term improvement.
In 2007, Nike took a chance on Amy, and gave her a contract that allowed her to train full-time. She was able to train full time and received all of the support that she needed. All of her decisions were made based on what was best for her career. As a result, she made an Olympic team 18 months later, and was 6th in the world 30 months later.
Amy has decided to start a group that will help other athletes, that do not get a big contract, to avoid the mistakes that she made so that they have a better chance to make it as a professional athlete. Amy's goal is to fund the group without using the traditional shoe company funding. Her vision is to have the group provide their community with fitness programs for kids and adults in their community in exchange for funding form local businesses and foundations.
Your donation will help the next generation of women distance runners. Donations will go toward training and travel costs for athletes.