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Level Field Fund Establishes Level Field Fund – Swimming

August 16, 2010


Michael Phelps Foundation Donates $100,000 to the Level Field Fund to Help Swimmers in Need of Financial Assistance; Grant Applications Received by September 15 to be Evaluated for Funding This Year

Portland, ME (August 16, 2010) – The Level Field Fund today announced the establishment of the Level Field Fund – Swimming, a grant-giving program that strives to bridge gaps in funding for uniquely talented swimmers whose opportunity to pursue excellence in the sport would otherwise be limited by their financial situation. Level Field Fund – Swimming is anchored by the support of the Michael Phelps Foundation, which has committed $100,000 to establish the program and to increase available funds for grants specifically for qualified swimmers. The Michael Phelps Foundation joins founding partner OrthoLite, which donates $1 to the Level Field Fund for every pair of OrthoLite insoles sold, to help support financially disadvantaged athletes.

“We are extremely grateful to receive such a generous donation from the Michael Phelps Foundation along with Michael’s ongoing commitment,” said Ross Powers, Olympic gold medalist and founder of the Level Field Fund. “With the London Games on the horizon, we understand just how important these next two years will be for swimmers as well as other athletes. Our grant program is designed to provide financial assistance to those in need and help make their dreams come true.”

Grant applications are available for download at; requests submitted through September 15, 2010 will be evaluated for funding this year.

“We are proud to support the Level Field Fund because we believe that everyone should have the chance to reach for their dreams regardless of their income level,” said Phelps, founder of the Michael Phelps Foundation. “One of my goals has always been to help grow the sport of swimming and I want to do what we can to help make sure we don’t lose talented swimmers due to a lack of money. Earning a spot on a national team is difficult enough without the added challenge some athletes must overcome to cover their costs for training and competing.”

Level Field Fund, which is supported by gold medalists from summer and winter sports including Powers, Phelps, Daron Rahlves, Seth Wescott and Lenny Krayzelburg, is designed to provide qualified funding to uniquely talented athletes at critical stages of their development. Costs at the entry level stages of sports may be relatively minimal, however as athletes progress towards the elite levels costs associated with training and competing – including more specialized instruction, equipment, event entry fees and travel – increase dramatically.

About Level Field Fund: Level Field Fund is a grant-giving program that strives to bridge gaps in funding to uniquely talented athletes whose opportunity to pursue excellence in sport would otherwise be limited by their financial situation. The Level Field Fund was established in 2010 and is a program of the Ross Powers Foundation. For more information, please visit

About Michael Phelps Foundation: Michael Phelps Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on growing the sport of swimming and promoting healthy and active lives, especially for children. As well as supporting the Level Field Fund, the Michael Phelps Foundation developed the im program in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,, and the Michael Phelps Swim School. im is designed to encourage healthy and active lifestyles for participants by offering water safety courses, recreational pool activities, swim training as well as health and wellness education. For more information, please visit

About OrthoLite: OrthoLite, Founding Partner of the Level Field Fund, is the world’s leading supplier of open cell foam insoles found in more than 100 million shoes each year including, Asics, New Balance, Merrell, Nike, Vans, Puma and Timberland. OrthoLite combines polyurethane and recycled rubber to provide superior cushioning, comfort, breathability and durability. OrthoLite, headquartered in Amherst, MA, was originally founded in 1997 and is a product of O2 Partners LLC. For more information, visit