02 Jul USATF Foundation Statement Regarding Gwen Berry 2020 Grant
The USATF Foundation is a non-profit whose mission is simply to “raise money and give it to athletes”. We rely on the generous donations of track & field fans throughout the country to make our annual grants to elite and youth athletes. Our diverse selection committee uses objective criteria that include a combination of need and performance.
The USATF Foundation has supported Gwen Berry since 2012 with $91,000 in grant support, including 2 grants totaling $5,500 in 2019–after her protest at the Pan Am Games. Additionally, Gwen was originally included in our press release today to receive another $5,000 grant—a decision that was made a week ago. We contacted Gwen yesterday to inform her of the award but she declined to accept it. We will however hold the grant for her through the rest of the year should she change her mind.
While we understand Gwen’s disappointment with not receiving our largest grant award this year, there are only 25 of them for over 40 events. In a perfect world, the Foundation would give all of our grantees more money but the demand exceeds the need at this point as we have over 250 applicants. Gwen’s allegation that her stance on the podium at the Pan Am Games adversely affected our grant-making decisions in 2020 is inaccurate.