For the second year in a row, Clarien Bank has announced it will make a donation to The Flora Fund, this time giving $10,000 in aid of the athletic support charity.
Established in May 2018, the Flora Fund was launched by Bermuda’s hometown hero Flora Duffy – a multiple ITU women’s triathlon champion – in partnership with the Bermuda Community Foundation. The Fund seeks to get Bermuda’s talented, established and aspiring athletes on track to meet their goals and provides sponsorship for any of the following: equipment, training, fees, event registration and coaching.
During the first year of The Flora Fund, three grants were issued to recipients. They include: Rio Russell, a 15 year old from Southampton attending Langley School and Football Academy in the UK; Azalea Pontes, a 13 year old from Paget who is a member of the Bermuda Gymnastic Association and National Squad; and Daniel Phillips, a 16 year old rising tennis star from Pembroke currently attending the Rafa Nadal Academy.
Michael DeCouto, Clarien’s Chief Digital & Marketing Officer, said: “As a community centered bank, it gives us great joy to be able to offer this donation to The Flora Fund. We hope our contribution will help to make a positive difference in the lives of local athletes, offering them much-needed support in reaching the next level in their sporting careers.”
In past media interviews, Flora has discussed how the scholarships and other financial support she received from the Bermuda community helped to catapult her to success. Now that the professional athlete is in a position to pay it forward, she is assisting the next generation of local sports stars.
Currently recovering from a foot injury, Flora was forced to forgo participating in the ITU World Triathlon Series held on April 27, 2019 in Bermuda. She is preparing to take part in next year’s Olympics in Tokyo; having already competed in the premiere sports event in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
She said: “I am extremely grateful to Clarien for this generous donation to The Flora Fund. I was seven years old the first time I took part in Clarien’s Iron Kids triathlon and am blown away by their continued support of my career and community endeavors all these years later.”
Clarien Iron Kids is a community-driven event hosted by Clarien Bank, which seeks to give young people a chance to compete in a traditional swim, bike and run junior triathlon. Beginning in 1988 as a Gibbons Company event held at Shelly Bay Beach in Hamilton Parish; the event was later organized by Capital G Bank, now Clarien Bank, and is now held at Clearwater Beach in St. David’s. Managed by the Bermuda Triathlon Association, young people between ages 7 and 15 are tasked with swimming, biking and running their way to the finish line. The last event for the day is a Tiny Tots Race, open to children ages 3 to 6.
Contributions to The Flora Fund can be made online through the Bermuda Community Foundation’s donation page or offline by completing a Gift Intention Form. For more details contact the Bermuda Community Foundation at 294-4959. For more information, visit theflorafund.com.