A Closer Look: VFGFAMO official fundraisers – Axel Merckx Youth Development Program

The Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (VFGFAMO) is committed to giving back, both to grassroots cycling in Canada, and to the local communities of the South Okanagan. This is the second in a two-part series aimed at highlighting the two official fundraisers of the inaugural VFGFAMO. This week, the Axel Merckx Youth Development Program… [to read the 1st part of the series, click here]

Ever since his retirement from pro cycling in 2007, Axel has been eager to share his experiences and knowledge with young cyclists. After moving to Canada, it became apparent there was a void in young rider development in the country. In conjunction with the Canadian Cycling Association and Cycling BC, the Axel Merckx Youth Development Program helps to fill that void.

“The sport of cycling has provided me with many opportunities, including the chance to race for my country and win an Olympic medal,” said Merckx, who won a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. “I would like to help Canada’s youth pursue their dreams in the sport of cycling and this new partnership with Cycling BC and the Canadian Cycling Association will help achieve this goal.”

The program will help Canada’s youth develop valuable bike handling skills, become more active, and ultimately race competitively. The source of the funding will come through the
inaugural Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan.

Indeed, with partial proceeds from each event registration and jersey sale, the Axel Merckx Youth Development program will launch a Spring 2012 cycling camp for B.C.’s young, prospective cyclists ranging between 11 and 18 years of age. The Program will work with regional coaches to not only identify and nurture young talent, but also to develop coaching and training capacity within the province, and ultimately the country. The young men and women selected to the development camp will have the opportunity to train and learn from the best coaches, nutritionists and technicians available. And the trickle-down-effect will ultimately lead to more interest and participation in cycling  among Canada’s youth.
Read More About Axel’s Youth Development Program