RG Scholarships

Five Years on for Flora Fund

Created in 2018 the Flora Fund helps athletes follow in the footsteps of Bermuda’s golden girl
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Support from both the community and family has been one of the core factors that Dame Flora Duffy acknowledges has helped her to pursue her goals and achieve excellence in her sporting career. With this belief, and a desire to “pay it forward” to the next generation, she helped to establish the Flora Fund to provide grants to aspiring and enthusiastic athletes, which would help them to achieve their goals and level the playing field for those with financial needs.

Since 2018, over 40 grants and some $100,000 has been provided to Bermuda’s athletes and teams in a range of sports including football, tennis, and Ms Duffy’s own sport in which she won an Olympic gold, triathlon. Support from the grant can range from equipment costs, travel expenses, training fees, event registration fees and coaching, among other financial needs.

Ms Duffy sees a lot of sporting talent on the island, and while interest in the fund has continued to grow, and has sustained itself over the past five years, Ms Duffy hopes to help continue to build the fund so that it carries on helping as many Bermuda athletes as possible to achieve their goals in the years to come.

Flora Duffy supporters showed their full support at Docksiders Saturday, as Flora produced her best Olympic race yet to finish eighth in the womens triathlon in the Rio Olympics. Pictured- Bermudas young triathlete’s.
(Photograph by Akil Simmons)

There is a lot of young sporting talent in Bermuda and my goal with the Flora Fund is to provide financial support to broaden that development pathway,” she said. “There have been many great performances by Bermudian athletes over the years, and I hope the young athletes take note that being a world champion, an Olympic medalist or playing overseas on a professional club is possible. If the Flora Fund plays a small role in making that happen then the fund will have been a success.”

For those thinking of applying for the fund, Ms Duffy said to take the leap and apply: “I have always believed that sport has the ability to change lives and open doors to new opportunities,” said Ms Duffy. “Whether that be simply as building friendships, to competing overseas, to earning university scholarships.”

The applicants must show financial need and dedication to their sport, said Ms Duffy and while the selection process, which is managed by the Bermuda Community Foundation, is not based on talent or the potential to be a top athlete, those things have certainly aligned in the past for recipients.

“We’ll consider each case on its merits, given there is truly a financial need that would limit participating in a specific event or season’s sport,” she said. “The fund has helped numerous athletes over the last five years across a wide range of sports – from tennis, gymnastics, football, track and triathlon to name few,” Ms Duffy added. “My hope is that it has given athletes the opportunity that would otherwise have not been possible due to financial constraints.”

The Flora Fund is administered by the Bermuda Community Foundation and is available for individual athletes and sports organisations. The number of awards and amounts varies per year. Requirements include Bermudian or PRC status and a completed Flora Fund application form. For more information, visit theflorafund.com.

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