Rapha Foundation awards third round of 2020 grants with focus on inclusion

The latest round of grant awardees include programs that promote equity and diversity in the sport.

Photo: Courtesy Detroit Fitness Foundation

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The Rapha Foundation has awarded $750,000 to five US-based cycling organizations that aim to introduce and develop cycling in underrepresented communities. This is the third round of grants provided by the foundation in 2020.

Rapha founder and CEO Sion Mottram said, “We are proud to announce the latest grantees for the Rapha Foundation. All five US-based organizations do amazing work to help engage and support the next generation of racers, particularly those who are under-represented in our sport. The new grantees continue our support for young riders from underserved communities, which will be key to our mission of expanding diversity and inclusion in cycling.”

In its second year, the Rapha Foundation has so far provided grants to nine cycling organizations with global reach.

The latest round of grant awardees include programs that promote equity and diversity in the sport.

In a press release, the two-year-old Rapha Foundation has stated its lofty goal of making cycling the most popular sport in the world. Its mission is to, “encourage, inspire, and support underrepresented young people looking to engage and thrive in the sport of cycling.”

In 2019, the charitable organization made $1.5m available to qualified, cycling-based organizations.

Rapha makes grants available to organizations in the European Union, United States, United Kingdom, and Asia-Pacific countries. Potential grantees are invited to apply for funding on a biannual basis, and applicants must be registered charities, including 501(c)(3) organizations for US-based institutions, and equivalent not-for-profit institutions outside the US.

The 2020 round-four applications for Rapha Foundation grants will focus on organizations based outside the United States, and members of the public may nominate a grantee through the Rapha Foundation web site.

About the 2020 round three grant awardees

Detroit Fitness Foundation
The Detroit Fitness Foundation (DFF) makes programs, equipment use, and coaching free for those who are less than 18 years of age. DFF also caters to underserved youth and seniors of the Detroit area, recreational cyclists, racers who want to ride track, and anyone with an interest in fitness. DFF’s After School Ride and Skate program, Summer Cycling camps, and Youth Racer program focuses on developing elite junior cyclists, attracts an ethnically and economically diverse population: African American, Muslim, Hispanic, and Caucasian; with an even mix of boys and girls. DFF’s Elite Junior Team won 10 medals at the 2019 USA Cycling junior national championships.

CYCLE Kids, Inc. 
Since 2004, CYCLE Kids helps children gain confidence, strengthen their academic focus and build their support systems, all while developing a passion for cycling. CYCLE Kids has impacted more than 30,000 children, many of whom are underrepresented, vulnerable, and from racially diverse communities. CYCLE Kids serves public, private, and charter school students in Massachusetts, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico, and New York. The program also has several programs that serve the Navajo Nation. CYCLE Kids has indicated that the Rapha Foundation grant will be used to open six CYCLE Kids programs in racially diverse schools in NYC.

Cascade Bicycle Club/Major Taylor Project
The Cascade Bicycle Club was founded to serve communities in Washington State, to provide opportunities to participate in world-class rides, and to engage in educational programs that advocate for bike- and pedestrian-friendly local policies. Cascade’s Rapha Foundation award will be used for its Major Taylor Project (MTP) to create equitable access to resources in cycling for youth of color, and students attending low socioeconomic schools. Ed Ewing, Founder of the Major Taylor Project said in a press release, “I created the Major Taylor Program to diversify recreation cycling, to see more kids like me. It’s not about the bicycle. It’s about building confidence.” In 2021, the Major Taylor Project plans on reaching 500 students at 18 middle schools and high schools with student bodies that may experience some financial hardship.

National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA)
NICA, founded in 2009, offers a variety of cycling programs for student-athletes, which reflect the core values of fun, inclusivity, equity, respect, and community. NICA’s strategic priority is to increase diversity in the cycling and outdoor recreation community. GRiT (Girls Riding Together) and Pathways are two initiatives aimed at bringing increased diversity through focused recruiting, programs, and partnerships. NICA states they are one of the fastest-growing youth sports organizations in the country. In 2019, more than 22,700 student-athletes and 11,700 volunteer coaches participated in their programs and races on more than 1,100 teams in 30 states across the country. NICA’s has indicated that the Rapha Foundation grant will enable them to continue to expand access to and broaden participation in cycling for female student-athletes.

Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team, Inc.
The Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team focuses on developing elite, internationally competitive road and cyclocross cyclists. Since 1991 more than 120 athletes have been part of Hot Tubes, and 20 alumni have competed professionally. The organization serves young men and young women from all socio-economic backgrounds and all regions of the United States, specifically 15-year-old to 18-year-old athletes, who already have a racing background, and who are training to compete at the highest level of cycling.

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