Duffy launches ‘Flora Fund’ for athletes
Flora Duffy has launched a fund to support young Bermudians aiming to follow in the world champion triathlete's footsteps.
The “Flora Fund”, started by a donation from Duffy in partnership with the Bermuda Community Foundation, aims to help aspiring and talented Bermuda athletes reach their goals.
Duffy said: “I could not have successfully pursued my dream of being a professional athlete without considerable help.
“Competing at the highest level of any sport requires constant funding and encouragement.
“I am massively grateful for the private and corporate support that, along with my family, enabled me to get there.
“Now I would like to help others where I can.”
Duffy became a national hero after winning the triathlon gold medal in the Gold Coast in Australia last month and thousands lined the streets to watch her sensational victory in the World Triathlon Series in Bermuda on Saturday.
She said the fund was a “small start” but hoped to grow the foundation into a meaningful and sustainable community asset.
Duffy added: “Sport can open doors — it did for me.” The fund is intended to provide local athletes with funding for expenses including equipment, travel, training fees, event registration and coaching.
Charles Duffy, Flora's father, said: “Over the 20-plus years of Flora's triathlon career I've often thought. ‘Wow that was amazing — I couldn't be prouder!' Wrong every time.
“The Flora Fund makes me even prouder though it's not a surprise. It's pretty typical of her and her husband, Dan, to want to give back and help others.
“I look forward to being involved in the new fund and if the level of ‘Floramania' that's prevailed in Bermuda over the WTS Triathlon weekend is any indicator, I know it will be a success.”
Dan Hugo, Duffy's husband, added: “Flora believes that often a single act of support can be the difference between a young athlete graduating to the next level or becoming despondent and going in a different direction.
“She often relates critical moments in her career. It could be an airfare, or annual coaching fees, or even just a pair of shoes for a talented kid unable to attain them, that could make the difference in her view.
“With a few key role players in the sports community, Flora hopes to identify talent in need and remove barriers for them. It is a humble start, but hopefully a long-term vision that will bear much positive impact for Bermuda.”
Myra Virgil, managing director at the BCF, said they were delighted to learn that Duffy wanted to set up a fund to help aspiring athletes.
Dr Virgil said: “Part of our job at BCF is to work directly with donors to understand their philanthropic vision and create charitable funds to support causes that are most important to them.”
Donors interested in contributing to the Flora Fund can do so at https://bermudacommunityfoundation.org/OurStories/WhyWeGave.aspx.
More information about how athletes can apply for support from the fund will be released later this year.