Posted by Editoress on 03/8/18
Following a successful fifth year, with both supported and alumni riders continuing to excel along with ongoing support of youth cycling initiatives, the Global Relay Bridge-the-Gap (BTG) fund celebrates the start of its sixth year by announcing funding allocations for 2018.
With several riders from 2017 earning spots on professional cycling teams, and others graduating to alumni status, GRBTG will welcome 17 new athletes in 2018, for a class of 33 (17 men and 16 women) from across Canada. The Fund will also continue to back grassroots youth cycling initiatives with financial, mentorship and coaching support.
The Bridge the Gap fund was a created by Vancouver tech leader Global Relay in November 2012. Its board is composed of current and former Canadian cycling professionals Svein Tuft (Orica-Scott), Ryan Anderson (Direct Energie), Erinne Willock and Andrew Pinfold, along with Canada's most accomplished director sportif Kevin Field. The Fund's mission is "To facilitate the advancement of aspiring Canadian Olympic road cyclists through mentorship, coaching, and financial support."
Bridge the Gap Director Andrew Pinfold said the future looks bright for cycling in Canada, thanks to the investment that companies like Global Relay are making in supporting the country's best up-and-coming athletes and bolstering youth programs and initiatives.
"I want to thank Global Relay for continuing to support this important program and I am excited to see what 2018 brings," said Pinfold. "In 2012, they took a chance and invested in our ideas about how to progress cycling in Canada. While the cycling landscape in Canada has changed significantly since our beginnings, I am proud that we continue to have an impact by iterating our programs and activities to advance the sport."
GRBTG's accomplishments since 2012 include:
• Helped 25 cyclists secure spots and a living wage on professional trade teams.
• Had three GRBTG-funded riders named to the 2016 Canadian Olympic team.
• Worked directly with Cycling Canada on projects to raise Canada's international road cycling ranking dramatically, and helped us qualify near record numbers of elite and U23 men riders at the World Championships.
• Formalized an Athlete Mentorship Program.
• Established a Trade Team Consultation Program to help Canadian teams work better with athletes.
• Established and coordinating BC Youth Superweek, a series of high-profile, high-exposure youth races that kick off many of BC Superweek stages in Delta, Gastown, New Westminster, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam and White Rock.
• Established a Canadian Youth Club Seeding Grant and education program that makes an upstream impact on road cycling in Canada, so can help clubs "fill" and "bridge the gap."
• Established the Canadian Youth Club Leaders Network to connect established and upstart growth-oriented development clubs across Canada.
• Established a system to collect donations and issue tax receipts for individual and corporate donors to the fund.
• Diversified our funders and grew funding by 30%, with significant contributions from Sylvain Adams and the Prospera Valley Fondo.
• Operated lean, with over 90% of fund donations going directly to athlete support.
"Over the years, it's been a thrill to watch so many of the Fund's athletes advance their careers and achieve fantastic results. As a company, to help so many up-and-coming Canadian riders work towards their dreams is important for us as one of the biggest supporters of competitive cycling in Canada. We're committed to helping people reach their potential and wish all our riders the best of luck in 2018." - Global Relay CEO Warren Roy
Youth Programs and Initiatives
The fund continues to seek opportunities to work upstream and develop youth cycling in Canada. In 2015, the fund launched its youth club seeding program, which provides two-year grants to fledgling youth cycling clubs aimed at establishing club sustainability and coaching development. The long-term goal of this program, developed by BTG youth advisor Brian Storey, is to boost and sustain the number of youth meaningfully involved in competitive cycling. For 2017, BTG is pleased to the renew the seed grant for the Red Devils Cycling Academy in Kelowna for a second year.
The Fund is also excited to continue support for the Hayman Classic, a youth cycling stage race in Penticton BC (May 25-27th). The inaugural event was a great success, with over 100 riders in attendance from across Canada and the United States. The event will continue cater to U15 Boys and Girls, U17 Boys and Girls, and U19 Girls. The fund sees the growth of this race as an important investment in the development of cycling nationally. As part of its commitment to support racing opportunities for youth, GRBTG also will again coordinate the BC Youth Superweek in Series.
2018 BtG Supported Athletes
|Jordan Jones||(Jerseyville ON)|
|Anna Talman||(Vancouver BC)|
|Derek Gee||(Osgoode ON)|
|Connor Toppings||(Calgary AB)|
|Alex Amiri||(Mill Bay BC)|
|Thierry Kirouac-Marcassa||(Boucherville QC)|
|Ariane Bonhomme||(Gatineau QC)|
|Devaney Collier||(Edmonton AB)|
|Laurie Jussaume||(Contrecoeur QC)|
|Maggie Coles-Lyster||(Maple RIdge BC)|
|Erin Attwell||(Victoria BC)|
|Oliver Evans||(Victoria BC)|
|Laurent Gervais||(Lorraine QC)|
|Vivien Rindisbacher||(Toronto ON)|
|Graydon Staples||(Oro-Medonte ON)|
|Marc-Antoine Nadon||(Timmins ON)|
|Edward Walsh||(Halifax NS)|
|Matthew Staples||(Oro-Medonte ON)|
|Danick Vandale||(Winnipeg ON)|
|Noah Simms||(Barrie ON)|
|Alec Cowan||(Calgary AB)|
|Kurt Penno||(Sandford MB)|
|Charles-Etienne Chretien||(Amos QC)|
|Gabby Traxler||(Calgary AB)|
|Emily Marcolini||(Sudbury ON)|
|Gabrielle Pilote Fortin||(Neuville QC)|
|Catherine Ouellette||(Saint-Lambert QC)|
|Emily Flynn||(Gatineau QC)|
|Miriam Brouwer||(Burlington ON)|
|Dana Gilligan||(Craighurst ON)|
|Gillian Ellsay||(Courtenay BC)|
|Katherine Maine||(Ottawa ON)|
About Global Relay
Global Relay is the world leader in cloud-based messaging, archiving and search technology for the financial sector. Global Relay is headquartered in Gastown, with offices in New York, Chicago, London and Singapore. In 2012, Global Relay invested $1 million to bring back and operate the Gastown Grand Prix, Canada's most prestigious criterium, which attracts some of North America's top cyclists and crowds of 20,000 to the streets of historic Gastown in Vancouver each July, as part of BC Superweek. In June 2014, Global Relay joined forces with Cycling Canada to sponsor the Canadian National Teams and the Canadian Road Cycling Championships, a four-year $500,000 partnership aimed at growing cycling in Canada and helping Canada become one of the world's top cycling nations by 2020.
For more information about Global Relay's Bridge-the-Gap fund, visit ww.grbridgethegap.com
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