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A new online fundraiser has been launched to gather €15,000 towards helping the Cycling Ireland Off-Road Commission develop more riders (Photo: Sean Rowe)

Cycling Ireland’s Off-Road Commission looks set for a financial boost after a supporter of Irish cyclocross began an online fundraiser which is now gaining some traction.

In the first hours after launch it had raised €750 and while that is still obviously a long way off the €15,000 goal, it’s a very decent start in a matter of hours.

The money would be used to help the off-road commission to reach more young cyclocross riders with a view to aiding their development in the sport. While the commission is funded by Cycling Ireland, and is effectively the cyclocross unit within the national governing body, funding is always an issue for cyclocross.

It is not an Olympic sport, which means it sits outside the funding criteria set down by Sport Ireland for all national governing bodies. Those criteria – which must be met by both athletes and the national bodies – are based exclusively around the Olympics for sports like cycling.

Barry Rogers – a well know figure on the domestic scene through his ‘Bobble Hats’ business – has now taken matters into his own hands and launched the fundraiser aimed at boosting the coffers of the off-road commission.

You can find the GoFundMe fundraiser at this link and donate. Even small amounts will get the effort over the line if enough people donate.

Rogers said he was “passionate” about cyclocross and saw it as a great pathway for young riders in the sport, which was why was moved to create the online appeal, titled ‘Cyclo-cross Cycling Ireland Off Road Commission’.

“I know that there is a hard-working group of volunteers who commit a lot of time into developing riders from Under 14s up to Under 23s,” he said of the commission.

“This group is supported by Cycling Ireland’s high performance unit and has helped to improve the skills the riders have and also provided opportunities for the riders to gain experience racing outside of Ireland. The development group has a broad range of coaching backgrounds and experiences.

“The group, however, lacks the funds to fully realise their goal of continued development of the riders and providing opportunities to compete in suitable races outside of Ireland.”

Rogers added he was hopeful other people interested in seeing Irish riders develop via cyclocross would contribute to the fund so the commission’s volunteers could use it “to supplement any budget they get from the governing body”.

The money could be used for training opportunities, including training camps, as well as racing trips abroad.

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