Courtesy of USA Triathlon.

One way to develop a sport is for a governing body to provide financial support to kickstart the sport by providing money to support local races, emerging races, and for travel to competitions.

The USA Triathlon Foundation offers a unique program, the US$2.59 million USA Triathlon Women’s Triathlon Emerging Sport Grant. This 3-year kickstarter grant program provides American colleges and universities the financial resources to develop and sustain women’s triathlon programs at the NCAA level.

Emerging sports within the NCAA have a 10-year window in which to establish 40 programs.

Currently, 14 schools have established a women’s varsity program including the University of West Alabama, Arizona State University, Webber International University, North Central College, Centenary College of Louisiana, Drury University, Daemen College, Belmont Abbey College, Queens University of Charlotte, Black Hills State University, East Tennessee State University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, Marymount University and Colorado Mesa University.

Examples of the grantees include Arizona State University which has produced more than 100 Olympians in swimming and track & field, and Drury University whose women’s swim team has won 10 NCAA Division II National Championship titles and produced seven Olympians.

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