The Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards is driven by the desire to help others, with funds raised from entries going to two charitable causes. Over the four years of the competition, thousands of dollars have been raised for cancer research, and thousands more has gone to the assistance of young cyclists – a cause close to Mark’s heart.
This year, we received many moving, inspirational submissions from young cyclists around the world hoping for and in need of financial support. We were honoured to have Richie Porte, winner of the 2020 Tour Down Under, as the judge, determining who would be the recipient of the Young Cyclist Assistance Fund. This year, two grants of $1000 each were awarded.
After careful consideration, Richie chose to allocate the grants to: Cesar Gavita and Kiera Will.
Congratulations to all our nominees from the 2019 Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards Young Cyclist Assistance, and to Cesar and Keira for their award. Thank you to CyclingTips for this story – read on for their stories below and Richie Porte’s wise words.
Cesar is a junior cyclist from Bogota, Colombia, who has shown exceptional promise by winning the time trial and mountain jersey at the Clasica Raza de Campeones race in Boyaca, Colombia. In 2019, he showed his commitment to the sport by training and racing for three months in Spain, and is described by the person who nominated him as “a great kid: respectful, serious and dedicated.”
Keep track of Cesar’s progress here.
Cesar’s work ethic extends beyond cycling. He comes from a financially disadvantaged background; his family was abandoned by his father when he was a child so Cesar works every day at a bakery after training to help support his mother and sister. By receiving the grant, Cesar will be able to take a little time off work to pursue his dream of becoming a professional cyclist and set up a comfortable future for his family.
In choosing Cesar as a grant recipient, Porte said “Cesar deserves the chance. He’s had to overcome a fair bit of adversity, and shown his intent by living abroad away from his family already.”
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Seguimos aprendiendo cada día mucho más, dentro de poco vendrán los buenos momentos con ayuda de Dios, muchas gracias a todos los que me apoyan!??? @fciclismocapital @newworldcycling @bathcocyclingteam @herocas9 @ddominguez_vivi @rediusjc_cycling @laamericanadepan @luisitovegaa
Keira Will is a talented 14 year old cyclist from Sydney, Australia. Despite her youth, she’s achieved a lot already – not just by winning races, but also supporting others as a club captain.
Keira plans to use the grant to pay for a personal coach to allow her to keep chasing her cycling dreams.
Keep track of Keira’s progress here.
Porte explained that the reason that Keira made a deserving recipient was that although only being 14 years of age, “it’s nice to see that she’s also putting back into the sport as a club captain, and has so much talent.”
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If it's easy, you're not doing it right My weekend at state championships was a blast. I was over the moon to come away with 5 gold, 1 silver and a place in the NSW team at track nationals next month. Thanks you to my parents, @stu.cycling and @shionawill for taking me to all the training and racing, and for all the support through out the season. Huge thanks to my coaches, @dicellorebecca, Pierre and Phil, for all the training sessions, tactics and advice. Congratulations to all racers and medalists. Another congratulations to all members of the state team, can't wait to spend an amazing week with you all in brisbane. Thanks to all the JW15, the racing was lots of fun (like usual) and I had a great time. Thanks to anyone and everyone who encouraged me, cheered for me, or came along to watch, it meant alot. To all my friends, team mates, and people I spoke to, thanks for the awsome weekend, cant wait for another amazing week at nationals.