-from Matt Ward, Cyclevox
The Braveheart Cycling Fund has named the twelve riders and two clubs it will support in 2011, with Commonwealth Games silver medalists Jenny Davis and Charline Joiner among those to be funded.
The Braveheart Fund was established in 2003 to support young Scottish cyclists with racing and training costs. In 2011 it is supporting 12 cyclists with funding totaling £25,000, and since it was set up the Fund has raised more than £200,000 and has supported around 70 cyclists. It was set up by former British professional champion Brian Smith and is managed by a committee of volunteers. The Patrons of the Braveheart Fund are Scotland’s Olympic and World Champion Sir Chris Hoy and Commonwealth Champion David Millar.
Once again the selected riders represent the three main disciplines of the sport: road, mountain biking and track. Four road riders will be supported, with two from mountain biking and the largest contingent coming from track racing, with six funded athletes. They range in age from John Paul, the 17-year old track sprinter, to Davis, who, though 28, is still a relative newcomer to the sport. She and Joiner have the long-term ambition of upgrading their silver to a gold medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.
In total, the fund is supporting seven riders who represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, with, in addition to Davis, Joiner and Paul, Andy Fenn, Callum Skinner, Kevin Stewart and Chris Pritchard. Nineteen-year old road rider Robert Hassan was also in Delhi as part of a programme designed to give promising young athletes experience of a major Games.
Another with major championship experience is Kenta Gallagher who in the last twelve months has represented Great Britain in two world championships – mountain biking and cyclo-cross.
Another two young riders to be funded in 2011 are Matthew Hamilton and James Smith, with the two eighteen-year olds set to spend the season racing in Belgium. They will ride for Team Deschuytter, based in Bruges, from mid-March, with a programme consisting mainly of Belgian inter-club races and stage races in Holland and France. Both Hamilton and Smith have been assisted and encouraged by the Scottish-based Olympic Talent Coach, Mark McKay. And having spent last summer racing in Belgium, both harbour long-term ambitions of turning professional.
Two clubs, Dynamo Falkirk and ERC, will also be supported by the Braveheart Fund, which will assist the clubs purchase bikes and equipment for their members.
In addition, through the Braveheart Fund’s relationship with Scottish Cycling, some funding will be available to juniors in 2011.
The Braveheart Cycling Fund 2011 funded riders are:
1 Andrew Fenn (20) Road
2 Robert Hassan (19) Road
3 Kenta Gallagher (18) MTB
4 Grant Ferguson (17) MTB
5 Callum Skinner (18) Track
6 John Paul (17) Track
7 Jennifer Davis (28) Track
8 Charline Joiner (22) Track
9 Kevin Stewart (19) Track
10 Chris Pritchard (27) Track
In addition, the following two riders will be supported to race in Belgium in 2011:
James Smith (18) Road
Matthew Hamilton (18) Road