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With the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials just under a year out, the New England running brand Tracksmith launched its innovative Amateur Support Program on Monday. The project will support up-and-coming athletes with proven potential as they prepare for the 2021 racing season and Trials in Eugene, Ore.
This new program is building on the success of Tracksmith’s OTQ Program, through which the brand supported 138 amateur athletes at the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta this past February. While the OTQ Program explicitly supported runners who had already achieved the marathon qualifying standard, Tracksmith’s new program is now widening that lens for the Track and Field Trials to include athletes beyond distance runners who are within striking distance of the standard within their competitive discipline. They aim to provide support to those on the cusp of their dream.
“For many top amateur runners, making the Olympic Trials is a pinnacle achievement,” said Matt Taylor, founder and CEO of Tracksmith in a press release. “It’s what keeps them motivated when they’re getting up at 5 a.m. before work and putting in a double before it’s dark. Tracksmith has always been inspired by and aspires to serve these athletes, so we put together a program to support more runners pursuing their dreams. The success of our OTQ Program established the framework and we’re excited to expand support to athletes across the track and field disciplines.”
Any high-achieving amateur track and field athlete focused on qualifying for the Olympic Trials as their primary aim in the 2021 season is encouraged to apply for the Amateur Support Program. If accepted, athletes will receive a quarterly gear stipend, Tracksmith Hare A.C. membership, competition support and will be eligible for performance bonuses leading up to the 2021 Trials. Additionally, athletes in the program will have access to mentorship from Tracksmith’s Athlete Experience Manager and two-time Olympic medalist, Nick Willis.
Tracksmith will review the first round of applications after August 1, and then on a continued rolling basis. If you haven’t yet come close to the standard but do later in the year, for example in February 2021, you will still be able to apply to the program.