SYNC Performance has set out on a mission to help athletes push limits, challenge the status quo, and strive for that which is beyond the horizon. As a core value, we believe in giving back and paying it forward. We allocate portion of our profits along with contributions from our investors to support clubs, non-profits, youth race series', and independent race teams. The SYNC Athlete Fund is another step we are taking toward inspiring, empowering and supporting the next generation of ski racing.
In the Fall of 2019, The SYNC Athlete Fund awarded $50,000 worth of individual grants to athletes for 2019/2020 season via the 501(c)3 Team America Foundation. Applications deadline were closed August 31st. We chose athletes who demonstrated dedication to their sport of ski racing and had a funding gap in their journey.
What is the purpose of the SYNC Athlete Fund?
The goal of the Fund is to provide financial support to developing ski racers with potential to be elite who have demonstrated financial need and would not otherwise be able to afford basic necessities like coaching, travel and equipment to achieve even higher performance levels and rankings without our help.
Who administers the Fund?
The SYNC Athlete Fund is administered by a committee within SYNC Performance staff and is supported by generous sponsors like TA Foundation and other like minded donors looking to raise the bar and provide opportunities in US ski racing.
Who is eligible to apply?
We fund individual American athletes who actively compete as an amateur demonstrate financial need. Qualification criteria follows a policy of “speed and need”, prioritizing those on a path to high-level competition yet do not have access to support from other sources or organizations.
The specific criteria for eligibility is as follows:
Individual applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal resident and be eligible to compete for a U.S. national team.
Applicants must have amateur status.
Applicants must demonstrate financial need. The SAF approves grants that will have a significant and lasting impact on the applicant. A request needs to demonstrate a visible, apparent and immediate financial need and be consistent with the Fund’s mission.
Applicants must have a successful competitive record within their age group.
Applicants must demonstrate the ability, based on competitive record and years in training, to reach and compete at an elite level. Those that have competed regionally (outside their state), nationally and/or internationally and/or are ranked by a national governing body.
Who is not eligible to apply?
The SYNC Athlete Fund is organized specifically to make a difference in athlete’s lives in the most direct way possible. Therefore, grants are made on an individual basis only and are not offered to groups or organizations. If you are a team, club, or other organization seeking funding, we encourage you to apply for a grant through our partner non-profit, TA Foundation and take part in SYNC Kick Backs Program.
How would accepting an individual grant affect a student athlete’s college eligibility?
- Per the NCAA, for Division I and Division III athletes, receipt of this fund for general training expenses will jeopardize a prospective student-athletes or an enrolled student-athlete’s amateur status and make the individual ineligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics at the Division I or Division III level. However, in Division I and III NCAA Amateurism rules allow an individual to receive expenses provided they do not exceed the individuals’ actual and necessary expenses and are related to competition, or practice in preparation for competition. If an individual accepts actual and necessary expenses it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure that its student-athletes comply with NCAA legislation.
- Per the NCAA, for Division II athletes, prior to initial full-time enrollment at any collegiate institution, a prospective student-athlete may use his/her athletics ability for pay without jeopardizing her amateur status provided the competition occurs during her one-year grace period. The one-year grace period is the year between the prospective student-athlete’s date of high school graduation, as determined by the NCAA Eligibility Center, and the next opportunity to enroll after the one calendar-year period has elapsed. However, if a prospective student-athlete delays full-time collegiate enrollment following the one-year grace period and continues to participate in organized competition involving an amateur or professional team(s), the prospective student-athlete may use a season of intercollegiate competition and could be subject to an academic year in residence. (NCAA Division II Bylaw 22.214.171.124). However, in Division II NCAA Amateurism rules allow an individual to receive expenses provided they do not exceed the individuals’ actual and necessary expenses and are related to competition, or practice in preparation for competition. If an individual accepts actual and necessary expenses it is the responsibility of each institution to ensure that its student-athletes comply with NCAA legislation.
- Athletes applying for the grant are responsible for checking the financial aid regulations of the NCAA or sports organization governing their current or future high school, college or university to avoid jeopardizing their eligibility for sports participation. For specific questions about your collegiate eligibility, please contact the NCAA or your collegiate institution directly.
What is the grant amount awarded?
Individual amounts typically range between $2,000 and $10,000. Up to $50,000 in grants will be awarded in 2019/20.
What are the requirements for SYNC Athlete Fund grant recipients?
Grant recipients must agree to the following:
- To use the grant for its intended purpose. (e.g. coaching, equipment or travel expenses)
- To participate in the Athlete Ambassador Program that entails one face-to-face visit with a SAF grantee and at least one virtual connection a year.
- To include recognition of your grant and of the SYNC Athlete Fund and TA Foundation, in all publicity surrounding your involvement in sports.
- To be available for interview(s) and personal appearance(s) on behalf of SYNC based on advance notice and availability.
- To provide two progress reports.
If you do not satisfy these reporting requirements you will be ineligible to apply for this or any other grant.
What criteria will be applied in making grant decisions?
- Financial need
- Present and potential level and ranking
- Lack of financial support from traditional sources (ie. endorsements, National Governing Body stipends, parents)
- Role of award in continued participation and advancement in sport
- Potential impact of grant on advancing personal performance and US skiing as a whole
- Contribution to greater visibility of US ski racing athletes
When are deadlines and other relevant dates?
Applications must be submitted by August 31st to be considered. Grant awards will be announced on October 1st and funded shortly thereafter. Applications must be fully completed and sent via email to Kris Ochs, Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notification of Application Acceptance
You will receive an e-mail at the e-mail address provided in your profile when your application has been received. Questions If after carefully reviewing the above you still have questions, please contact Kris Ochs, Program Director at email@example.com for more information.