A fund set up in the name of Wales’ first Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas is hoping to help a new generation of athletes gain access to the sport.
The Geraint Thomas Trust is a joint venture between the Grand Tour winner and governing body Welsh Cycling that it’s hoped will help individuals and clubs to fund equipment, mentoring and coaching to areas where it is in short supply.
The plans are currently awaiting approval from the Charities Commission but organisers have already begun the task of raising money to get the fund up and running, with the hope that it will be able to start financing projects as early as Spring 2019.
Assuming all the necessary permissions are granted the fund would mark a clear and tangible legacy benefit from Thomas’ winning of the world’s most prestigious cycling race last summer.
It was an achievement that propelled him into the pantheon of Welsh sporting greats, and drew thousands to his home city of Cardiff to welcome him home in a specially arranged parade.
And that swathe of public support is just what he and Welsh Cycling will be hoping to capture in the creation of a charitable fund that will aim to bring the sport to areas currently under represented at all levels.
“We see that as an opportunity to young people who may not get the support from family and friends and things like that” said Welsh Cycling Chief Executive Anne Adams King.
“We’re still going through the processes of how grants will work.
“He’s [Thomas] very keen to give everybody the opportunities that he had.
“We know there are not necessarily the facilities and the coaches and support all over Wales so it’s helping to put that into place.
“Geraint will be the name of the Trust. It will be something close to his heart in terms of the legacy”.