Women’s National Team named a recipient of the Women's Sports Foundation's Travel and Training Fund grant

Aug. 22, 2018, 7:30 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY - USA Softball is proud to be selected as a recipient of the Women's Sports Foundation's (WSF) 2018 Travel and Training Fund grant.  The Women’s Sports Foundation has announced that the USA Softball Women's National Team (WNT) is one of two team grant recipients of its 2018 Travel & Training Fund fueled by partner Gatorade®.  The USA Softball WNT received $10,000 to support its travel and training for the 2018 season – which included the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship, where the WNT became the first U.S. team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

"USA Softball is honored to be a recipient of the Travel and Training Fund grant and are grateful for the support we have received from the Women's Sports Foundation," said USA Softball Executive Director, Craig Cress.  "It is imperative that we continue to give our athletes the opportunity to wear the Red, White and Blue and represent our great nation, and support such as this greatly helped fuel our Gold Medal finish at the WBSC World Championship and now our journey to Tokyo 2020."

The USA Softball WNT not only defended their Gold Medal to become back-to-back World Champions, but they also earned a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, joining Japan who automatically qualified as the host country.  Additional qualifiers will determine the rest of the six-team field.

In the storied history of the USA Softball WNT program, Team USA has captured three Olympic Gold

Medals and one Olympic Silver Medal in the four Olympics where softball was a medal sport, in addition to numerous first-place finishes at international events since then.

“We are so grateful to receive the travel and training grant,” said USA Softball WNT member Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.).  “This opens up so many opportunities for our journey to Japan and to be able to train for Gold in everything we do. It is so exciting to see that others believe in us and are investing in our program since we are so passionate about what we are doing and our potential to win it all in 2020!”

The Travel & Training Fund helps aspiring athletes and teams with significant potential to achieve even higher performance levels and rankings by providing direct financial assistance. Grants are used to offset the costs involved with coaching, specialized training, equipment, athletic attire and travel, thereby giving them the opportunity to attain their next great achievement in sport and preparing them for leadership roles now and in the future. 

The Women’s Sports Foundation was the first organization to offer grants to female athletes with elite potential. Since 1984, WSF has awarded grants to individual athletes and teams, many of whom went on capture national, world and Olympic titles.

This year, the Women’s Sports Foundation awarded a total of $72,000 to applicants across 16 sports. For more information about how to apply for future Travel & Training funding, please visit: http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/home/programs/travel-and-training-fund/how-to-apply.

For updates on the USA Softball Women’s National Team and events throughout the 2018 season visitwww.USASoftball.com

About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. 

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, 
www.USASoftball.com.

About Women’s Sports Foundation

The Women’s Sports Foundation is a powerful voice, catalyst and convener dedicated to ensuring all girls have equal access to sports and physical activity and the tremendous life-long benefits they provide. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we seek to strengthen and expand opportunities for all girls and women to participate in all sports at all levels through research, advocacy, community impact and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. The Women’s Sports Foundation has relationships with more than 1,000 of the world’s elite female athletes and has positively shaped the lives of more than 3 million youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes. To learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, please visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org or follow us at @WomensSportsFdn and www.facebook.com/WomensSportsFoundation.