The skaters have been hinting that they had something in the works so that fans could show their support. Well, here it is. APTE: Athletes for a Positive Training Environment.
I haven’t had a chance to look through the entire site yet, but you can leave comments, encouragement AND – this is a biggie – there is information on how you can make donations directly to the skaters!
The Speedskating Program has always been severely underfunded. Even more distressing is that the majority of the money you send to most non profit entities rarely trickles down to the people you thought you were trying to help in the first place. Administrative costs more often than not eat up the bulk of donations. Now you can cut out the middleman entirely and know for certain that your donation to APTE will be going directly to the skaters.
Lack of funding and funding misrepresentation are issues that are part of the skaters complaints against USS. If you haven’t read the list of the skaters grievances, you can go here:
On page 10 is one of the allegations that relates to this issue.
To be honest, when I read the following blog post on USS’s site, I thought it was infinitely worse, to the point that I almost whipped off a blog post of my own under the category of ‘How could you!!! Have you no shame?!!!’.
It was by far and away one of the most flagrant and egregious misrepresentations to pander for donations I have ever seen. The insinuation that your donation would somehow be helping the skaters with some of these basic expenses would be laughable if it wasn’t so criminal. How many times have skaters been told they had to pay their own way to an international competition after being selected for a World Cup team? That, next to coaching, is the one thing USS should be paying for above all else. If they can’t even manage that, then it’s rather obvious that they won’t be helping the skaters with much of anything else on the aforementioned laundry list of expenses.
Tugging on heart strings, appealing to your sense of patriotism and your sincere desire to help, that’s how non profits operate. If you still want to make donations to them, so be it.
But before you do, first make a donation directly to a skater you truly want and intend to help in the first place.