Allyson Felix and Athleta Create a Childcare Fund to Support Athletes Who Are Mothers


Two years after Allyson Felix called for brands to provide maternity protections for athletes, the five-time Olympian and her sponsor, Athleta are making a major push to support mothers.

Last week, Felix announced a new partnership with Athleta—the company she left Nike to join—and the Women’s Sports Foundation, which created The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants. The program has committed $200,000 to professional athlete mothers with the goal of covering childcare costs as they pursue goals in their respective sports while balancing motherhood.

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So far, nine athletes—including hammer thrower Gwen Berry, 400-meter runner Natasha Hastings, and Olympic Marathon Trials champion Aliphine Tuliamuk—have been named grant recipients and will receive $10,000 each. Athletes can apply for grants through August 31. The remaining recipients will be announced in October.

“I am both a mom and an athlete, and the financial burden as a single mom going after my dreams has been tough,” Hastings wrote on Instagram. “I’m honored to be one of nine moms that has been afforded the opportunity to receive the Child Care Grant from Allyson Felix and the Women’s Sports Foundation.”

The program is an extension of Felix’s advocacy efforts to support women in sports. Six months after she gave birth to her daughter, Camryn, by emergency C-section in 2018, the six-time Olympic champion shared her experience of being unable to secure maternity protections from her former sponsor, Nike in a powerful op-ed published in The New York Times.

A few months later, Felix signed a new sponsorship deal with Athleta.

“As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports,” Felix said in a press release. “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.”

allyson felix

Felix with her daughter, Camryn.

Cortney White

Felix’s story influenced a shift in the industry, highlighted by several major brands, including Nike, creating new maternity policies for sponsored athletes. However, many athletes do not receive substantial backing from corporate sponsors. As she pursues her 11th Olympic medal at the Tokyo Games, Felix wants to give them the same opportunity to feel empowered in their pursuits while raising awareness to the balance required of athletes who choose to be moms.

“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,” Felix said.

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