By Gary Anderson

September 6 - US Figure Skating announces new funding programme backed by partner Prudential FinancialUS Figure Skating and insurance firm Prudential Financial have announced the establishment of a funding programme for member clubs and schemes that use the sport to address the social needs and help benefit under-represented groups within the sport.

The overall aim of the $25,000 (£16,000/€19,000) programme is to enable US Figure Skating to meet the challenges of catering for the many diverse groups of people within the sport.

Funds will be allocated to two qualifying clubs and/or programmes in the United States during the 2013-2014 season to develop or enhance existing community-based schemes and events that create opportunities that attract, involve and inspire new generations of figure skaters.

There are two categories under which funding criteria fall; a "Building Block" gift and an "Enrichment" gift.

The Building Block gift will see $12,500 (£8,000/€9,500) awarded to a new programme or initiative that shares the mission of the Prudential Skating Fund, while the same amount will be awarded as an Enrichment gift to an existing or repeating project to allow for enhancement and/or increased participation in line with the mission of the Fund.

Max Aaron will be looking to defend his title at the 2014 US Figure Skating Championships in BostonMax Aaron will be looking to defend his title at the 2014 US Figure Skating Championships in Boston

"US Figure Skating is extremely proud to be launching this initiative with Prudential," said executive director of US Figure Skating, David Raith.

"We hope the awards via the Prudential Fund will make a positive impact on the sport of figure skating and youth in America."

Applications for funding consideration are being taken by US Figure Skating up until October 31 2013, with recipients to be announced in January 2014 when they will be publicly recognised at the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston, running from January 5 until 12.

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