Founded in 2019 with the mission of building a better future for cycling and cyclists, the Rapha Foundation now funds more than 15 organizations around the world committed to inspiring, empowering and supporting the next generation of riders and racers from under-represented communities in the sport.
The organization invests $1.5 million a year in grassroots initiatives and recently announced a new round of grantees would be added to the list of recipients, including Grow Cycling Foundation.
Founded by Eliot Jackson, one of mountain biking’s most recognizable personalities, the Grow Cycling Foundation promotes education, access and opportunities that increase diversity and inclusion in cycling. Established in light of the 2020 George Floyd protests, Grow Cycling aims to create new avenues for community building and career development in the cycling industry.
With support from the Rapha Foundation and other industry sponsors, Grow Cycling’s first initiative is to develop a world-class 30,000 square foot pumptrack in Los Angeles, bringing a cycling ecosystem to an area that has never before been served such an opportunity.
During a recent conversation with Eliot, Rapha got inside the motivations behind Grow Cycling:
“Not racing gave me space to think and I had the time to try and reconcile what this reckoning meant for me as a Black person and the things that I had experienced over the years. People have always looked to support me and have also looked to me for support, so I thought that we could do something to build the sport in a way that it hadn’t been built before.
At the pumptrack, you’ll be encouraged to discover what cycling means to you. We didn’t want to import cycling culture into this community. We wanted to export this community’s culture into cycling,” says Jackson.
Looking beyond the pumptrack, Grow Cycling is committed to developing more programs, access and professional opportunities when it comes to addressing the inadequate diverse representation in cycling.
In addition to Grow Cycling, the Rapha Foundation extends its 2021 round of grants to Black Girls Do Bike, Bear National Team, Experience Fayetteville and USA Cycling, who collectively join a growing community of grantees around the globe.
The Rapha Foundation supports charitable organizations of all sizes that introduce underserved audiences to cycling. The Foundation will champion these organizations and aims to take aspiring racers on a journey from their local parks to podiums at the top of the sport.
Organizations in the EU, US, UK, and Asia-Pacific are all eligible for grants. Potential grantees are invited to apply for funding on a biannual basis. Applicants must be registered charities, including 501c3 organizations for US-based institutions, and equivalent institutions outside the US. Members of the public may nominate a grantee through the following link.
The Rapha Foundation has been made possible by Steuart Walton and Tom Walton, Rapha shareholders, along with Simon Mottram, the founder and CEO of Rapha. Steuart and Tom provided seed funding for the Rapha Foundation, distributing $1.5m in 2019.
For more information about the foundation see below :