Aqua Blue Sport’s riders have chosen to donate 5% of any prize money won during their 2017 racing season to The Emerald Fund. The announcement comes ahead of their racing debut at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race later this month.
The Emerald Fund supports Irish junior cyclists, with all proceeds raised being invested into the future of the sport. It backs U-23 riders competing full-time outside of Ireland. Last year, funded riders included Mark Downey who won gold in the points race at the 2016/17 UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Apeldoorn. This year’s supported cyclists will be announced on January 18th.
Commenting on the announcement Aqua Blue Sport team owner, Rick Delaney said; “It is a goal of Aqua Blue Sport to encourage and inspire the next generation of Irish cyclists and it’s important for Irish cycling that we have more Irish riders competing at an international level.
“Aqua Blue Sport is delighted to contribute 5% of its prize money for the 2017 racing season to the Emerald Fund, and we are additionally proud to continue our support of the Irish domestic racing scene through our ongoing support of the amateur Aqua Blue Sport Academy team.”
Aqua Blue Sport rider, Matt Brammeier commented; “I was financially supported by a similar fund in England, The Dave Rayner Fund. I wouldn’t have been able to continue competing at an elite level was it not for the support from the fund. They allowed me to compete at an international level. The Emerald Fund supports young cyclists in a similar way and is a stepping stone for young Irish riders to achieve bigger and better things.”
Co-founder of The Emerald Fund, David O’Connell commented; “I am thrilled that the riders of Aqua Blue Sport will be donating 5% of their prize money during the 2017. For us, it’s not only about the financial assistance but about what it will do to benefit Irish cycling in general. The support of these professional riders, who are on the international stage, is fantastic for us.”
Aqua Blue Sport make their racing debut at the Cadel Evans Ocean road race in Australia from January 26th – 29th followed by the Jayco Herald Sun Tour from February 1st – 5th