The Young Athletes Foundation was developed by Grandma's Marathon in 1990 to promote the growth of youth athletics in the Twin Ports area.


The mission of the Young Athletes Foundation is to assist in the promotion, development and growth of youth athletics.

Main Goal:

The goal of the Young Athletes Foundation is to support youth athletic programs by providing opportunities to nonprofit organizations that are committed to promoting the safe participation in athletics with emphasis on programs that focus on underrepresented sports and/or individual
athletic endeavors.

Young Athletes Foundation Programs

Wednesday Night at the Races

Everyone's a champion at Wednesday Night at the Races! This popular family event is held for six consecutive Wednesdays from the end of July to the end of August. The goal is to provide area youth ages 14 and under with the opportunity to experience the sport of running in a fun and supportive atmosphere.

YAF Running Shoe Program

The Running Shoe Program was developed to provide free running shoes to high-school cross-country and track athletes who need training shoes, but aren’t able to afford them. Since 1991, the YAF has given more than 2,000 pairs of new running shoes to athletes attending the high schools in Aurora, Babbitt, Barnum, Carlton, Chisholm, Cloquet, Cook, Cotton, Cromwell, Duluth, Ely, Esko, Eveleth, Floodwood, Grand Marais, Hermantown, Hibbing, Iron, Maple (Wis.), Moose Lake, Mountain Iron, Orr, Proctor, Saginaw, Silver Bay, Solon Springs (Wis.), Superior (Wis.), Tower, Two Harbors, Wrenshall and Virginia. This program is made possible through the generosity of our partners, Austin Jarrow, Duluth Running Company and Tortoise & Hare Footwear.

YAF Grant Program

The YAF Grant Program was started in 1990 with the goal of providing money to nonprofit organizations in Lake, Cook, Carlton, Douglas and St. Louis Counties that strive to provide children with opportunities to participate in recreational and athletic activities. These funds are available to aid organizations with program development and/or to help purchase new equipment needed for the continued success and safety of their programs.

UMD Cross-Country Scholarship

In the spring of 2006, the YAF partnered with the University of Minnesota Duluth to establish a scholarship that gives $1,000 annually to one male and one female member of the UMD cross-country team.

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