$50,000 in Grants to Ski Racers

Sync Performance, the company that makes ski racing apparel and safety equipment, is offering $50,000 worth of individual grants to athletes for 2019/2020 season via the 501(c)3 Team America Foundation. Applications are accepted from July 8th through August 31st. Athletes who are dedicated to the sport of ski racing and demonstrate a funding gap in their journey are encouraged to apply.

The Vail-based company was founded in 2014. “Anyone who follows Alpine ski racing in the U.S. is pretty aware of the funding gap,” Sync’s Brian Rodine told the Vail Daily. “Only the very top athletes are actually funded to train and get the best coaching and the best facilities to focus on the sport. Anyone who is just outside of that ends up spending their time fundraising and not focusing as much as they could on the actual ski racing.”

Due to lack of funding the U.S. Ski Team scrapped its men’s slalom team for 2018/19.  The Team has estimated it takes more than $100,000 to put an athlete on the World Cup Circuit and asks those on the C Team to contribute $30,000 to compete, according to a 2018 article in The Washington Post.

Those costs were one of the reasons that Starksboro’s Robby Kelley, a scion of the famed Cochran ski racing family chose to compete on the World Cup on his own and formed the scrappy Redneck Racers and worked to raise $20,000. He traveled without a coach or a tech team and ended up renting a convertible one winter while racing in the Alps “becuase that was the cheapest car they had.”.  [See Revenge of the Redneck Racers]

SYNC Performance exists to help athletes push limits, challenge the status quo, and strive for that which is beyond the horizon. Through high performance gear designed by and for athletes, we support clubs, non-profits, youth race series’, and independent race teams. The SYNC Athlete Fund is another step toward inspiring, empowering and supporting the next generation of ski racing.

Opening photo: Robby Kelley wearing his signature Redneck Racing camo suit, at the 2015 US Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf, Me. Photo USSA

Lisa Lynn

Editor of VT SKI + RIDE and Vermont Sports.