Mark Springer was a young man who on the way home from working at the USATF National Office was in a fatal car accident. I'm happy that the USATF Foundation named this Youth Travel Fund after Mark. There are lots of teams and athletes that qualify for Nationals that need this travel money. His job was over the Youth part of the USATF. I'm proud to say that Mark was a good friend. 

INDIANAPOLIS - The USA Track & Field Foundation has released $20,000 to support the Mark Springer Youth Travel Grant program, Foundation Executive Director Tom Jackovic and Chairman Bob Greifeld announced today.

Named after the former USATF Director of Grass Roots Programs & Planning, and program originator, the program offers travel assistance grants to eligible youth clubs across the country for their athletes who qualify to compete at national youth and junior championship events.

"The USATF Mark Springer Travel Grants help ensure that clubs and athletes who wish to compete on the national level have that opportunity," said USATF CEO Max Siegel. "We are pleased to continue this grant program and thank the Foundation for their involvement in helping guide it."

Since 2006, the USATF Foundation has contributed more than $140,000 to the Springer program. Mark Springer Travel Grant award recipients were announced late last week. View 2013 recipients HERE.

In support of youth clubs nationwide, the Foundation encourages youth track clubs and programs from all areas of the United States to apply for financial assistance. The Foundation favors the use of grant money to expand existing youth programs/clubs, to provide additional competitive opportunities for children and to enhance the experience for all participants. Preference is given to clubs that are based in low-income areas. It also favors programs that have a history of solid financial management, multiple funding sources and community support. Allowable expenses include equipment, uniforms, meet fees, travel, facility rental, staff and volunteer training, and outreach.

The USATF Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track and field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors, major gifts and from generous fans of track & field.

Elite athletes are supported by the Foundation via monetary grants, career counseling (mentoring & jobs) and participation in Run With US! (www.rwus-now.org). Youth athletes are supported via monetary grants to youth clubs.

For more information, or to contribute to the USA Track & Field Foundation, visitwww.usatffoundation.org or contact Tom Jackovic at (412) 398-2484 or tom.jackovic@usatf.org