In a truly unique effort to expand the reach of running, the USA Track and Field Foundation (USATF Foundation) has established what it is calling its Maternity Grants to support mother-athletes who pursue motherhood during the course of their athletic careers.
The first round of recipients are Shannon Rowbury, Molly Huddle, Ce’Aira Brown and Elvin Kibet. Each will receive $4000 in support.
The new Maternity Grant is intended to provide additional and vital support to mothers during pregnancy and post-partum as they return to training and competition form. This grant is specifically intended for mothers who plan to return to an elite level and pursue achieving spots in an Olympic Games, World Championship or other Team USA competitions.
“I’ve seen athlete-moms become even stronger after starting a family, but that’s not without much support behind the scenes, such as child care, baby supplies, pelvic floor rehab and other return-to-sport PT, so this will help a lot with that,” says Huddle. “Thank you to the USATF Foundation for helping support my return to sport as I navigate motherhood.”
“I’m proud to be part of an organization that recognizes the opportunity we have to help our talented athletes who are in the prime of their careers pursue their dreams of both family and athletics,” says USATF Foundation director Lisa Larson. “The grants will help these inspirational women come back stronger and faster than ever. With their best performances in front of them, the real winner is the sport of track and field.”
- Shannon Rowbury, who is currently pregnant with her second child, is one of the fastest American middle distance runners of all time. She is a 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympian, with a personal best of 3:56.29 in the 1500 meter.
- Molly Huddle is arguably the most decorated American women’s distance runner in history, with 28 national titles to her name. She is the current American record holder in the 10,000 meter, 20k and half marathon and a two-time Olympian. Huddle is pregnant with her first child. She and her husband Kurt live in Providence, RI.
- Ce’Aira Brown is an 800 meter specialist and she competed for Team USA in the 2019 Doha World Championships, where she qualified for the 800 meter final and placed eighth. Brown gave birth to her son, Ya’sin Lamar Henry, in November.
- Elvin Kibet is both a road and track specialist who most recently competed in the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meter. Kibet competes for the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program and lives in Colorado Springs. She holds the ranking of U.S. Army Sergeant. Kibet is expecting her first child this year.
Grants will be determined on a case by case basis when expectant mothers apply at usatffoundation.org.