The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) have announced plans to launch two parallel campaigns promoting collegiate Olympic and Paralympic sport opportunities across the country.
More than 100 American universities and 20 collegiate-centric national governing bodies (NGB) have committed to the campaigns, entitled "Olympians Made Here and Paralympians Made Here".
Devised by USOPC's Collegiate Advisory Council (CAC), the campaigns are due to launch tomorrow, marking one year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begin.
Participating institutions will be encouraged to celebrate both their current and historical contributions to Team USA, as well as international teams, in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020.
USOPC will provide such universities and NGBs with pre-approved digital assets, including social media templates, campaign logos, customisable scripts and video tools, allowing them to share inspiring stories of national team student-athletes and coaches.
"Olympians Made Here and Paralympians Made Here will be cornerstones to changing the narrative around Olympic and Paralympic sport programming on campus," said Kevin White, USOPC Board member and CAC Chair.
"Through these campaigns, we’re excited to spotlight our collegiate programs and celebrate the Olympians and Paralympians who so proudly represent our schools and their countries."
Nearly 80 per cent of US athletes at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro had ties to collegiate programmes, while 41 American athletes who competed at the Paralympic Games had participated in varsity programmes as an athlete with a disability.
Paralympians Made Here is inclusive of both disability-specific programmes like wheelchair basketball and of varsity teams that include athletes with a disability, including rowing where 82 per cent of current national team members have competed collegiately.
"We are grateful for this collaboration that provides a unique opportunity for athletes to learn, grow and compete as they shape their dreams, in both sport and in life," said USOPC chief executive Sarah Hirshland.
"Collegiate athletics are critical to Team USA’s success, and for the athletes who take great pride in representing both their schools and their national teams on the world stage, the student-athlete experience is invaluable to their Olympic or Paralympic journey."
Earlier this month, CAC introduced legislative plans for athletes competing at both collegiate and international level, aiming to provide them with more structure.