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Introducing the Scout Bassett Fund: Championing Visibility Regardless of Ability
News provided byWomen's Sports Foundation
Sep 18, 2023, 12:00 PM ET
In Partnership with the Women's Sports Foundation® and Athletes for Impact, the new Fund will award grants to women athletes with disabilities across the country
Scout Bassett named President-Elect of the Women's Sports Foundation
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Scout Bassett, U.S. Paralympian and world record holder in Track & Field, and recently named President-Elect of the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF), proudly announces a new fund to help end the financial barriers that hinder women athletes with disabilities from realizing their full potential in elite athletic endeavors. The Scout Bassett Fund, in partnership with WSF and Athletes for Impact, will provide much-needed financial support, and also spotlight these athletes' extraordinary achievements through original and compelling storytelling.
This bespoke Fund will award grants to cover a spectrum of needs for women athletes with disabilities, including equipment, training, travel and costs associated with participating in elite sporting events and competitions. Eligibility is applicable for women athletes with disabilities competing in any sport, that are U.S. citizens, dual citizens or legal residents. The inaugural grant cycle will commence on October 2, 2023 and the link to the online grant application will be available on the WSF website.
"The Scout Bassett Fund is something I've always dreamed about launching and I could not be more excited or grateful that it has finally come to fruition," said Bassett. "As someone who has personally experienced the transformative power of sports, I can hardly wait to help foster inclusivity and level the playing field through the Scout Bassett Fund."
The importance of supporting, empowering, and actively promoting women athletes with disabilities cannot be overstated. According to WSF research, 90% of women with disabilities are not active in sport, and boys with disabilities consistently participate in sport at higher rates than girls with disabilities. Seeing women athletes play, compete and thrive can help encourage others with disabilities to come off the sidelines and experience the life-long benefits of sport participation. Further, following Paralympic competitions can help encourage, excite, and engage. Yet according to a WSF analysis of the most recent Olympic and Paralympic Games, solid progress was made in 2022 - marking the first time the Paralympic Winter Games were broadcast during primetime on NBC broadcast network – however, the overall media coverage (beyond broadcast) in terms of articles published was still very limited.
"As many in the sports world know, and our WSF research has documented, far too often girls and women athletes with disabilities are under-resourced and overlooked at all levels, from school age to elite," said Danette Leighton, CEO of WSF. "Inclusion and representation matter, always, to educate and encourage the next generation. We are proud to partner on this much-needed Fund, and excited for Scout's upcoming WSF presidency – an important role for our Foundation, and wonderful reflection on our impactful history working together."
Bassett has a long tenure with the Foundation, having received its Travel & Training Fund grant in 2013 and later becoming a WSF Athlete Ambassador, and more recently serving as a Board of Trustees member. She will begin her presidency in January 2024. Bassett and WSF share a history and passion for propelling girls and women in sports, which made it a natural fit for both to partner on this timely Fund.
The Scout Bassett Grant selection process is rigorous, with candidates evaluated based on a comprehensive set of criteria that includes eligibility to compete for a U.S. national team, financial need, absence of support from traditional sources, the role the award will play in ongoing participation and advancement and the potential impact to propel the athlete to the forefront of sports.
"At the Scout Bassett Fund, we firmly believe that every athlete deserves an equal shot at success," adds Mike de la Rocha, co-founder of Athletes for Impact. "Through grants and transformative storytelling, we aim to uplift women athletes with disabilities, enabling them to pursue their dreams and redefine the boundaries of human achievement."
In addition to the crucial financial support selected grant recipients will receive, they will also be prominently featured across the Scout Bassett Fund's communication channels and network. Through these compelling stories, the Fund will demonstrate how the power of sports transcends mere physical ability, proving that strength knows no bounds.
For more information about the Scout Bassett Fund and its groundbreaking efforts, please visit www.athletesforimpact.com/scoutbassettfund.
Vice President, Talent + The Collective
About Scout Bassett
Scout Bassett is a U.S. Paralympic track and field athlete who competes in sprinting and long jump events having won multiple medals at both national and international competitions. As a child, Bassett lost her right leg due to an injury she suffered in a fire. Despite facing adversity and losing her leg, Bassett's unwavering determination and dedication to her sport led her to become not only a decorated Paralympic athlete, but also a source of inspiration for people with disabilities around the world. Find Scout @scoutbassett on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
About the Women's Sports Foundation
The Women's Sports Foundation exists to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. We are an ally, an advocate and a catalyst. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we strengthen and expand participation and leadership opportunities through research, advocacy, community programming and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. From its inception to Title IX's 50th anniversary in 2022, WSF has invested over $100 million in these impact efforts, helping to shape the lives of millions of youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes, elite athletes and coaches. We're building a future where every girl and woman can #KeepPlaying and unlock the lifelong benefits of sport participation. All girls. All women. All sports® To learn more about the Women's Sports Foundation, please visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org.
About Athletes for Impact
Athletes for Impact is a vehicle for athlete activism and a vital resource for athletes to be part of an intersectional movement for justice. At the intersection of sports and social justice, Athletes for Impact is one of the leading athlete activist networks in the United States whose campaigns are driven by athletes with genuine connections to the communities they serve. To learn more, go to www.athletesforimpact.com.
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