The Dave Rayner Fund, which works to enable young cyclists from all backgrounds to further their career in the sport, has been awarded charitable status by the Charity Commission, and will now be known as The Rayner Foundation.
One of the founder members of the fund and the current team manager for the British U23 team, Keith Lambert, called the announcement of charitable status ‘a fantastic boost’ for the fund, explaining it will enable it to further its mission to build a better future for the sport of cycling in the UK.
The charity is named in memory of Dave Rayner, a professional cyclist who was one of the few British cyclists, at that time, to flourish in a cycling team outside the UK.
After a successful domestic career as a professional cyclist in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dave rode for the Dutch Buckler team for two years between 1991 and 1992 in which he competed in most of the major races on the international cycling calendar, only injury preventing him from a ride in the Tour de France.
During a night out in Bradford in 1994 with friends and his wife Serena, whom he had married just five weeks earlier, Dave was the victim of an assault that led to his death four days later.
The Dave Rayner fund was set up in 1995 by Dave’s teammates and friends. Through its annual dinner and other activities, the fund has so far raised over £1,000,000 to provide financial support for young riders to travel abroad, set up home and safely function on a day-to-day basis.
Riders who have benefitted from the fund include Tao Geoghegan-Hart who is now riding for Team Ineos, World Champion in last year’s Team Time Trial, Hannah Barnes and Tom Southam who after a successful career on the bike is now a Directeur Sportif for one of the top teams in the world, EF Education First Pro Cycling Team.
On behalf of the Rayner Fund Committee, Keith Lambert said:
“Being awarded charitable status has been a brilliant achievement and will ensure we can further enable riders to progress in the sport of competitive cycling, whether that is on the bike or off it.”
“The assistance we are able to provide is financial, but it also takes the form of advice, mentoring and mental support to inspire, empower and support the next generation of athletes so they can achieve to the best of their ability.”
“We hope this fantastic boost for the fund will help us to encourage more women and riders from underrepresented groups to engage in the sport.”
The Dave Rayner Annual Dinner where Simon Yates will be the guest of honour, takes place this year at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on Saturday 23rd November. Click here for more information.