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At SYNC Performance, we are on a mission to help athletes push limits, challenge the status quo, and strive for that which is beyond the horizon. We believe in giving back and paying it forward to the athletes and communities that make us who we are. Last year, we launched the SYNC Athlete Fund, our first ever dedicated athlete support fund with $50,000 in individual grants aimed at inspiring and empowering the next generation of ski racers.
Among the challenges facing alpine ski racing in North America, one of the largest is the financial barriers that prevent some of the best athletes from reaching the highest levels of the sport. When you boil it all down, we really have a few potential solutions to this problem: A. lower the cost of being a ski racer, B. increase funding and resources to the sport, or C. a combination of both. Around this time of year, US Ski & Snowboard Association meets for their annual Congress meetings, where they explore how to address these issues. They consider things like a focus on more local and regional competition to lower travel costs and club collaboration to lower training costs, among other strategies to grow and improve our sport. We are excited to hear about the initiatives that come out of this year’s Congress.
When we step back and look at SYNC’s role in solving this problem, we believe that working as close as we can, with as many athletes as we can is how we can best help in the mission to grow and improve our sport. That not only comes in the form of working with them to build products that specifically help them perform better, but also by helping remove financial barriers for those who need it most so that they have an equal opportunity to to achieve their dreams.
One year in, the Fund proved instant success in doing just that. From over 100 athletes who applied, 26 athletes were identified who best met the SYNC Athlete Fund’s criteria and would be most meaningfully impacted by financial support.
The athletes spanned all regions of the US, and various levels of the sport, starting at the U16 and up age groups.
The funding, ranging from $500 to $10,000 per athlete was used toward training, racing, travel, and equipment that they would otherwise have not had access to. We couldn’t be happier to hear the stories and see the smiles of these athletes who have worked so hard to earn their success.
So, naturally after a successful first year and even more so now with all of the uncertainty in the world, we are being asked if the SYNC Athlete Fund will have a second year. The answer is unequivocally, yes.
Stay tuned via email for latest updates, details, and timeline as we roll out the 2020/21 Athlete Fund, coming soon.