Monday, April 6, 2009

Evergreen Athletic Fund seeks to help Northwest post collegians in throwing events...

One of the truly good guys in the sport in this area is Martin Bingisser, who graduated in 2005 from the University of Washington in three years with a degree in philosophy, (while still having two years of athletic eligibility left!) and just recently obtained his law degree from UW.

During his final two years of eligibility at the UW, he was attending law school, training full-time, and oh by the way, running a web site, called, a resource for hammer throwers around the world to exchange information on the event.

Now training in Kamloops, British Columbia, Bingisser started a non-profit corporation, called the Evergreen Athletic Fund, to help support primarily post-collegiate throwers who aspire to compete at the highest levels of the sport. Here's the press release, courtesy of the Evergreen Athletic Fund:

A new non-profit organization, the Evergreen Athletic Fund, will help local track and field athletes reach their Olympic dreams by assisting them with the costs of training.

Washington State has been producing world-class throwers since local athletes won medals in the shot put and discus in the 1920s. Last summer, four throwers with local ties competed at the Olympics in Beijing, including Renton native Aretha Thurmond, who made her third Olympic team little more than a year after giving birth to her son Theo.

While Washington’s rich tradition remains unchanged, the demands and costs of training have gradually evolved and increased. Athletes train four to five hours a day, and commit additional time to analyzing technique and muscle recovery. And, though undergraduate athletes are typically supported by their university, there are no formal support structures for most post-collegiate athletes. Those who continue to train, like local discus thrower Will Conwell (above/photo by Paul Merca), have to find their own path to success.

Since narrowly missing a spot on the Olympic team last summer, Conwell is working towards his new goal: the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In order to fund his pursuits, Conwell, a 2006 graduate of the University of Washington, has been doing whatever work will fit into his training schedule. Recently this has included such varied jobs as working in marketing and sales, managing apartments, cutting concrete, and working as a flag football referee.

Now Conwell, and other local athletes like him, will receive assistance from the Evergreen Athletic Fund in meeting the costs of continued training. President G. Martin Bingisser, himself a hammer thrower and former University of Washington All-American, hopes the Fund will help the Northwest remain one of the top producers of elite track and field athletes. “The best athletes in track are not always those who are the most talented,” said Bingisser. “The best athletes are often those who are dedicated to training hard and have the support to continue to do so after college. We want to help provide that support.”

In addition to providing financial assistance to local athletes, the Fund hopes to promote youth
participation in the throwing events. The Fund is partnering with 1956 Olympic hammer throw gold medalist Harold Connolly to relaunch his popular website and once again publish resources for youth coaches and athletes, introducing a new generation of athletes to the sport.

The Evergreen Athletic Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity. For additional information on the Evergreen Athletic Fund, please contact G. Martin Bingisser at 425-301-4529 or visit the organization’s webpage at

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