Sponsorship available for Haudenosaunee athletes through new funding

By Sam Laskaris

Writer

Haudenosaunee athletes have just a couple of days remaining to apply for some funding through a new Six Nations-based group.

The Haudenosaunee Sports Development Group (HSDG), headed by Six Nations businessman Curt Styres, will offer up to $100,000 in funding to its inaugural class of sponsorship recipients.

Carmen Thomas, a program associate, said the HDSG was launched in May of 2021. Since then it has been working out details on a few different projects.

That includes the HSDG’s Lighting the Pathways to Success sponsorship program. Recipients will receive a maximum of $5,000 each.

The HSDG plans to enhance the lives of Haudenosaunee student-athletes who are playing sports while pursuing their post-secondary education.

In order to be eligible for sponsorship, students must currently be attending an NCAA Division I, II or III school or a national junior college or prep school.

Only those who are members of a Haudenosaunee community and have Haudenosaunee status are eligible for sponsorship.

“We’re not going to give out a set amount in the first year,” Thomas said. “We’ll be looking at the different applications and deciding from there.”

Thomas added HSDG officials are working on securing some partners to keep the sponsorship fund operating in future years.

“We’re hoping to replenish some of those funds (with new financial partners),” he said. “We’re talking to different people. We’re trying to work on relationships with new groups.”

The deadline to submit a sponsorship application is this Friday, Jan. 6 at 4 p.m. EST.

Applications are available by sending an email to hsdgsixnations@gmail.com

Haudenosaunee student-athletes, from any gender, that are playing any sport at post-secondary or prep school are eligible for sponsorship.

Besides providing sponsorship opportunities as well as other scholarship, bursaries and awards to Haudenosaunee student-athletes, the HSDG also has a couple of other objectives.

The group is keen to educate youth by providing various workshops and leadership training programs. And the HSDG is also focused on educating and increasing the public appreciation of Indigenous culture.

Thomas said the HSDG is hoping to launch its website at some point in January.

“Right now we’re very infant and have a Facebook page,” he said.

That page can be viewed here https://www.facebook.com/hsdgsixnations

Thomas added after sponsorship applications close this Friday, HSDG officials will sort through those received by the deadline and make their decisions on recipients in the coming weeks.

In the past NCAA athletes had been prohibited from receiving compensation payments for sponsorships.

But the HSDG is able to now provide sponsorship because the NCAA changed its policies on July 1 of 2021. Student athletes can now receive sponsorship funding for NIL deals. These deal signify an individual’s Name, Image and Likeness.

Sponsorship recipients will help choose the best way to promote their name, image and likeness.

Those who are chosen as HSDG sponsorship recipients this year will not be eligible to receive further sponsorship funds from the group in future years.

 

 

 

 

 

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