The Rapha Foundation announced today that it has added Eliot Jackson's Grow Cycling Foundation to its list of grantees for 2021.
Grow Cycling Foundation was born out of Eliot Jackson's desire to make a difference for underserved populations in the cycling community. After competing at the highest level and noticing, time and again, that he was almost always the only Black person, he finally had the space to reflect when he retired from World Cup racing and had a forced pause due to the pandemic. George Floyd's death last May and the subsequent protests pushed Jackson to do something to increase inclusion and diversity within cycling.
With backing from several supporters including, now, the Rapha Foundation, Grow Cycling Foundation plans to build a 30,000 square foot pump track in Los Angeles where it hopes to host the 2022 Pumptrack World Championships.
Rather than bring the city to the outdoors, Jackson said, the goal in creating the pump track is to bring the outdoors to the city. For many in Los Angeles, there's a distinct lack of access to biking and other outdoor activities, so Grow Cycling Foundation aims to create an entryway to the sport for people who otherwise wouldn't have any contact with mountain biking.
Alongside the pump track project, Grow Cycling Foundation is also focusing on developing programs in schools that will help introduce children to biking and, by way of the children, introduce whole families to the sport.
The Rapha Foundation was founded in 2019 to help fund a variety of organizations that support the next generation of riders, particularly from underserved communities. This year, with the addition of Grow Cycling Foundation, Black Girls Do Bike, Bear National Team, Explore Fayetteville, and USA Cycling, the Rapha Foundation supports 15 organizations. It granted $1.5 million in 2019, made possible by Rapha CEO and founder Simon Mottram and majority shareholders Steuart and Tom Walton.400 [Failed to load instagram embed]https://instagr.am/p/CSfJpaMsuZb&maxwidth=1000