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Funding Training of Athletes

Funding to Train Varies Depending on the Age, Potential, and Desire of the Athlete
        There are many talented individuals with latent academic and sports potential that could be developed if unlimited funding was provided. Sadly the USA does not provide tax funds for such universal assistance. Many reasons are offered why such assistance is not provided.  There are Internet sites that discuss this this issue. 

        There are many varsity sports that receive tax support at public Junior and Senior High Schools. In addition the are minor sports organized as clubs. Booster clubs, alumni associations, and community business/social organization that help raise funds to promote sports.

       At the college/university levels, football and basket ball generate revenues by ticket sales and shared television contracts. Some of these funds are used to support other sports programs and athletic scholarships as allowed under National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules.

       Many times scholarships are not filled for minor or orphan sports that have not achieved high visibility except for every four years as Summer and Winter Olympic events.

       Lets be brutally frank - not every individual will tolerate a Spartan lifestyle of athletic training used in some countries that completely subsidize their sports as political posturing:
  • Identifying potentially talented individuals at a very early age
  • Removing them from their families and transported to centers specializing in specific sports
  • Grooming them to compete in their national championships
  • Sending selected athletes to represent their country in international,  world, and Olympic events.

Editors Note:

As shocking as it might be for athletes to manage to slip away when all eyes are on what might be the most watched sporting event in the world, this isn't the first time that athletes have used the cover of the games to escape their home countries to seek a better life. In fact, as Olympic historian David Wallechinsky told National Public Radio, one of the missing athletes, Thomas Essomba, even tried to defect four years ago at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Although many of these kinds of defections took place during the Cold War, they're still common today. In fact, at this year's games, before the Cameroonian athletes made their escape, three Sudanese Olympians walked into police station in London before the opening ceremony even started and asked for political asylum, according to ESPN. Two Somali athletes reportedly also sought to remain in the United Kingdom, as reported by the BBC News, but one later denied the attempt because of threats she had received.

According to the New York Times, the earliest known asylum request in the history of the modern Olympic games took place at the 1948 Olympics, also in London. Marie Provaznikova, head of the Czechoslovakian women's gymnastics team, sought to defect to the United States. At the time, Czechoslovakia had only started to come under Soviet influence, and Provaznikova could see change on the horizon. The United States granted her request, and Provaznikova spent the rest of her life on U.S. soil, teaching gymnastics.
 
Source - Discovery News

Seven athletes from Cameroon have "defected" in London where some were participating in the 2012 Olympics, Cameroon media reported Tuesday, citing an official.

The disappearance of the seven athletes was reported on the web site of the state daily Cameroon Tribune.

According to the head of Cameroon's Olympics delegation, David Ojong, "28 (delegation members) returned to Cameroon, 24 are still in the (Olympic) village and seven have defected," the newspaper reported him telling the country's sports minister at a meeting on Sunday.

       Source - Yahoo! Sports

      The international level of sports has changed drastically the pure amateur competitive environment of the early Olympic games.  The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been forced to adapt to the economic, political, and technological realities of the 20th century causing the Olympics shifted away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allow participation of professional athletes. The growing importance the communication industry with universal access by satellites and cable of television and the Internet allowed corporate sponsorship to commercialize the Games.

      The host city responsible for organizing and hosting of the Olympic Games has become entangled in political and economic considerations of immense proportions. The games hosted in Greece did not generate the revenues anticipated. The resulting debt is a likely cause of the political and economic problems that presently exist.

      The London games of 2012 went off with only minor weather problems after the wettest 60 days leading up to the opening of the days. With only a few exceptions, the weather posed only a few minor inconveniences. Some winter games have been plagued with too little or too much snow. It would seem that even limited visibility and high winds can cause events to be postponed on the outdoor venues. Snow machines can be used but only it the temperature are cold enough. Rain is just as much a disaster for winter sports as summer sports.

Enormous training Costs occur in terms of Personal Sacrifice and Expenses for Athletes.
      
Some sports, like track and field's running, allow athletes from poor countries to achieve spots on the podium. Unfortunately this is the exception rather than the experience of athletes in most sports. Those countries without a natural cold winter climate are unlikely to send a bobsled team to compete in the winter olympics. The Jamaican bobsled team being the exception at the 1988 Winter Olympics hosted at Calgary, Canada. The team returned to the Winter Olympics again in 1992, 1994, and subsequent competitions. The team failed to qualify for the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.

       The team's performance at the 1988 Olympics inspired the 1993 film Cool Runnings, that loosely depicted what occurred.

Funding Athletic Training Expenses -

  • Federal Guaranteed Loans 
  • Fund Raising by 501 C3 organizations
       Individual elite athletes eventually will win prize money for placing in specific competitions. Local sporting associations/organizations generally will assist athletes by hosting fund raising events and activities under their nonprofit tax exempt charters. It is much easier to line up corporate sponsors for a general fund then for a specific athlete. Such funds can cover athletic equipment and coaching expenses, and/or travel and lodging expenses to compete.

References:

Governmental Financing of Training Expenses
       Some countries provide partial to full funding of programs designed to develop elite athletes to represent their countries to win World and Olympic Medals. Great Britain, the host country of the 2012 summer Olympics undertook in 2005 to fund athlete training to enhance their performances by removing undue pressures which impair performances.
UK Sport will receive around £125 million a year over the next four years, providing sports’ governing bodies with the certainty they need to put long-terms plans in place to try and emulate, or even better, the 2012 medal haul that Team GB has enjoyed. The funding will also support Paralympic GB athletes who begin their campaign for medals in London in 18 days time.

The move is designed to reward the success of the UK’s outstanding elite sport system. It will ensure that the country continues to ride high in world sport and that our athletes can inspire future generations to take up sport, just as they have done in London.

  • Athlete Support  Read about and apply for stipends, grants and funding programs from USA Track & Field (USATF), the USATF Foundation and the US Olympic Committee (USOC).
  • PDFeliTe AThleTe  Handbook to assist athletes in every way to make the time in the Elite Athlete spotlight more productive. These programs are funded through USATF.
  • USA Track & Field Foundation - About the Foundation The Foundation, via Youth Club Grants, assists America's youth as they develop into tomorrow's stars. The Elite Athlete Development Grant program, provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track and field programs, with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors and from generous fans of track and field.
  • Grants and scholarships - Australian Sports Commission  Elite Indigenous Travel and Accommodation Assistance Program ... Assistance Program (EITAAP) is for Indigenous sportspeople who have been selected ... The objective of the MYSP Program is to create sustainable opportunities for Australian youth.
  • United States Olympic Committee  The Committee provides training centers, funds, and support staff to elite athletes. ... U.S. Paralympics also works through education, sports programs, etc.   Each individual Olympic Sport has a National Governing Body, supervised and funded by the USOC, which administers that sport and selects the athletes for the games. The Committee provides training centers, funds, and support staff to elite athletes.
  • PDF2012 Elite Athlete Grants - USA Swimming  The Elite Athlete Grant was formerly called the National Team Grant. The name was changed to better reflect eligibility requirements for this program. ... Investment Plan funds, USA Swimming Tuition Assistance dollars and USOC Grants.
  • USA Gymnastics :: Women's Program Overview  Women's Elite/Pre-Elite/TOPs Program Overview ... To ensure that support funds are awarded to those athletes who are representing our country at ... with the National Team Coordinator to develop a strong training program for elite athletes.
  • Support - Interviews  Seek out grants, sponsorships, and special funds. ... or U.S. Olympic 'A' standard in their event – other sources help to support the developing athlete. ... The program is directed towards runners who are U.S. citizens, have graduated from ... Athletes qualifying for the program attend the Emerging Elite Athlete Symposium.
   
Resources:
  
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

  
Workshops for Athletes
Sample Workshop Registration Application
Athletic Training Principles
Beginning to Advanced Free Skating Workshops
MITF Summer Workshops
Synchronized Team Skating Workshops
On-IceWorkshop Considerations
Off-Ice Seminar Topics
On-Line Seminar Ideas
Approaches for Off-Ice Seminars
Sports Injuries
          Funding Training of Athletes
          Mental Imagery
PDF  Weekly Off-Ice Workouts
PDF  Principles of PE Fitness

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