Eight NCAA schools will be the first to receive a multi-year grant to assist with the development of women’s varsity triathlon programs, USA Triathlon announced today.
Triathlon was added to the list of NCAA emerging sports for women at the 2014 NCAA Convention, and the USA Triathlon grants are aimed at increasing the sport’s sponsorship at the college level. In the emerging sports program – created to help schools provide more participation opportunities for female athletes – a sport has a 10-year window in which at least 40 schools must sponsor it before it can become an official NCAA championship.
This spring, the USA Triathlon Foundation will award approximately $480,000 for the 2015-16 season to the winning schools in Divisions I, II and III through the inaugural Women’s Triathlon Emerging Sport Grant. An additional $980,000 will be distributed to the schools through 2017-18. The schools receiving grants are:
- Arizona State University.
- Black Hills State University.
- Concordia University Wisconsin.
- Drury University.
- East Tennessee State University.
- North Central College.
- Queens University of Charlotte.
- University of West Alabama.
USA Triathlon will assist additional schools interested in sponsoring triathlon programs through future rounds of funding, with a total of $2.6 million allocated to the grant program. The organization is currently accepting applications for the second round of funding for the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Triathlon hopes to follow the success of sand volleyball, which progressed through the emerging sports program and will become the NCAA’s 90th championship in 2016. USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach hopes his sport will have a similar destination. “This exceptional funding opportunity from the USA Triathlon Foundation helps to support our campaign to make triathlon an NCAA championship sport,” he said in USA Triathlon’s release.