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Fund named after Olympic star Duffy to back athletic excellence long-term

Pure gold: Olympic triathlon champion Flora Duffy backs fund set up in her name to help other Bermudians aspire to sports stardom (File photograph)

A new fund inspired by Olympic champion Flora Duffy to back future athletics stars has got off the starting blocks, it was announced today.

The Flora Gold Fund was set up with initial support from rum firm Gosling’s.

The company will continue to donate proceeds from its Flora Gold rum to the fund, which could amount to a total of $100,000.

Ms Duffy said: “I had help from so many people along the way and it is a privilege to be part of a community movement to make it more accessible for the next generation.”

She thanked Gosling’s and the Bermuda Foundation for helping to set up a long-term way to back sport on the island.

Ms Duffy said: With enough support for the Gold Rum, we are going to reach the $100,000 goal with Goslings, and that is remarkable.

“With that, we’re dreaming of adding another nine large donations to the endowment fund over the next year.

“I don’t know if that is achievable, but I am determined to try.”

Ms Duffy emphasised: “None of the funds go to me – it is all received and dispersed through the Bermuda Foundation, though I am steering the approval process for allocation.

“My motivation is simply to make sporting excellence more accessible in Bermuda and I’ll keep refining how that is realised.

Triathlon hero Ms Duffy established the Flora Fund scholarship and bursary in 2018, and it has supported the purchase of equipment, travel, training fees, event registration fees, and coaching for seven potential stars of the future.

Other hopefuls assisted have included triathletes, tennis players, footballers, runners and gymnasts.

Ms Duffy said: “It has been a thrill to make a small difference in a few sporting journey’s since the 2018 launch.”

The Flora Gold Fund and the associated Flora Fund will be managed by the Bermuda Foundation.

A spokeswoman for the fund said: “The ultimate goal of this legacy fund is to enable Bermudians to follow in the footsteps of people like Olympic medallists Flora Duffy and Clarence Hill and represent Bermuda on the world stage.”

Donations to the Flora Gold Fund, an endowment fund, will be invested with part of the income earned spent each year.

The remainder will be added to the fund’s principal amount to ensure it continues to be able to help athletes for generations.

Myra Virgil, the Bermuda Foundation chief executive, said: “This is an exciting step as it provides choice for donors.

“They can opt to contribute to the Flora Fund for here and now giving, where the monies can be spent immediately to assist athletes in need of help today.

“The Flora Gold Fund, as an endowment, is a plan for the long haul – it will provide support to Bermuda’s young athletes for decades to come.”

Gosling’s has already contributed $15,000 to the Flora Fund through an auction of the first 15 bottles of Flora Gold rum.

Malcolm Gosling, the vice-president of Gosling’s export arm and a director, said: “We were delighted to do that, but we also wanted to accomplish something longer term.

“Gosling’s is the oldest business in Bermuda, and we understand the need to be prepared for the long haul.

“There has to be a plan, and that plan in this case is funding.”

Mr Gosling added: “We know that this tiny island can produce world class talent and we want to ensure that everyone with that potential talent has the support to realise it.

“It’s a costly business to get to that elite level.”

Ms Duffy said people should e-mail info@theflorafund.com for more information and “I’ll be happy to engage”.

To donate to the Flora Fund or the Flora Gold Fund, visit www.bcf.bm and click GiveNow or buy a bottle of Gosling’s Flora Gold Rum.

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Published November 29, 2021 at 7:55 am (Updated November 29, 2021 at 7:55 am)

Fund named after Olympic star Duffy to back athletic excellence long-term

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