With the aim of supporting our best Elite and Junior Mountain Bike riders to their best performances on the world stage, two grant programs are announced by the National body for the sport, Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA).
The programs are the Cross Country High Performance Athlete Grant Program and the Under 19 Athlete Grant Program. Across both programs this exciting initiative is expected to support up to 30 eligible riders in 2015 with a total pool of over $50,000 available. The Cross Country High Performance Athlete Grant Program has been developed to assist selected riders with the costs of international competition. It is a tiered program targeted at riders who have shown the results and potential to accrue additional international ranking (UCI) points, which in turn will elevate Australia’s international ranking as a country and our ability to secure Olympic Games places for 2016.
Funding for this program is sourced from the Cycling Australia Elite Development contribution made to MTBA to assist mountain biking in achieving representation at the Olympic Games under the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) Winning Edge program.
The separate Under 19 Athlete Grant Program will assist junior riders with the costs of international competition, including, if they are selected, at the 2015 MTB World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra. The program is aimed at riders in the Cross Country and Downhill disciplines, who have shown consistent results and potential within the MTBA National Series competition for this age-group. Funding for the Cross Country grant recipients is again sourced from the Cycling Australia Elite Development Contribution as above. Funding for the Downhill grant recipients comes directly from MTBA.
MTBA President Mr Russ Baker AM spoke of the aims of the program.
“We all take a huge amount of pride in the performance of our riders on the international stage. This MTBA initiative provides benefits for our better performing Elite and Under 23 cross country riders, for developing riders and for Australia. As we lead up to the Rio Olympics and beyond, it is important that we support riders who improve Australia’s international ranking and ensure that Australia is on the start line in Rio. This program will do that, while making it a little bit easier for our riders to travel to competitions and recognising their performances. But it also supports our developing junior riders who will one day take over the reins in the Elite fields.”
“Its not just about the Olympics. While Downhill is not an Olympic discipline, we are making some support available to the junior downhill riders so that Australia can maintain our very high international status in downhill into the future.”
“In addition to family support, many of our riders receive support from Pro Teams, Australian teams, businesses and individuals. I thank you all for your support. I encourage all Australians to support our riders in whatever fashion they can as we approach an Olympic year. MTBA will soon be introducing a support framework for riders across all disciplines at world-level events and Australians will also be able to support our mountain bikers in a tax-deductible fashion similar to the Pursuit for Gold initiative.”
MTBA CEO, Mr Shane Coppin, focused on the dual goals of athlete and organisation support.
“I have day to day contact with our Elite athletes and any additional funding is a great help to them in achieving their goals. “This program has been developed in consultation with a broad range of parties including our committee, staff, athletes and professional teams. “It is important that, while we work towards the ultimate goal of direct ASC funding for our sport, we as the National body support our athletes to continued success on the world stage”.
Athletes should be aware that the Cross Country High Performance Athlete Grant Program requires applications to be considered for funding whereas the Under 19 Athlete Grant program does not require an application and grants will be automatically issued to riders meeting the criteria.
All further information on these exciting initiatives can be found in a detailed PDF document on the MTBA Website.
Applications for the Cross Country High Performance Athlete Grant Program can be made by clicking this link: http://goo.gl/forms/aaUS5weFN9
To find this article online, please see the news article on the MTBA Website: http://goo.gl/KuttV6