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Athletes to get tuition grant program

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Salt Lake Tribune

Athletes on the U.S. ski and snowboarding teams will be able to pursue educations at Westminster College while training to realize their Olympic and World Cup dreams.

The Salt Lake City college has become the "Official Provider of Educational Services" for the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding - the only college nationally with this distinction - and will offer a tuition grant program that will help athletes study and train simultaneously.

Bill Marolt, president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), said his organization recognized that intellectual stimulation is an important part of developing world-class athletes.

"The athletes who compete [on our teams] are overachievers who will thrive in the academically rigorous environment Westminster offers," he said. "This partnership also will help the families of our athletes."

Westminster also benefits, said college President Michael Bassis. "This is a unique opportunity to enrich the lives of all of our students by having Olympic athletes on our campus, interacting with fellow Westminster students and sharing the remarkable international perspective they've gained from competing in events all over the world."

For the second year of the partnership, Westminster will develop curriculum for a program that will give USSA coaches the opportunity to take business-related courses online.

"These courses are aimed at assisting professional coaches in meeting their educational requirements, as established by USSA, in sport business and management," said Westminster spokeswoman Helen Langan. Courses includes accounting, management, marketing, risk management and communications.

- Mike Gorrell