PenFed Program Pairs Athletes With Military
Having several shared goals and training disciplines, Olympic and Paralympic athletes will pair up with military personnel through a new program sponsored by Pentagon Federal Credit Union.
The $17 billion cooperative in Alexandria, Va., is the latest sponsor of the USSA Military Mentorship Program, an initiative of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
The USSA is hosting two of the nation's top athletes at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, La., during an event this week.
Three-time Olympic aerial skier Emily Cook and Paralympic wheelchair curling athlete Patrick McDonald will talk with service members at the Louisiana military base.
Founded by Army veteran and former U.S. Ski Team member and coach Robi Powers, the Military Mentorship Program brings wounded warriors and retired service members together with top USSA Olympic athletes to share stories of overcoming obstacles.
This week’s event at Barksdale will be the second major event for the program, which introduced two Purple Heart recipients to U.S. skiers preparing for the Sochi Olympics in January.
Military service and Olympics and Paralympics training are both commitments that last for years and require arduous and continuing physical training, said James Schenck, president/CEO of PenFed.
“But the similarities go deeper than that,” Schenck explained. “Service members and top athletes both understand that the greatest obstacles are their own fears and their greatest strength is their willingness to face and conquer them.”
Formula Strategy Group, a marketing and communications firm specializing in military and sports-themed events, media, and sponsorships, championed the new partnership between the USSA and PenFed for the inaugural USSA Military Mentorship Program, according to the credit union.