ISLE OF MAN – Microgaming’s successful auction bid to obtain a signed jersey from the Great British cycling team, raises £1500 for the James Berry Fund.
The James Berry Fund was established in 2006, in memory of James, a promising young cyclist who tragically lost his life in an accident in 2005 whilst out training with fellow Manx cyclists. Its main objective is to assist young Manx riders gain experience cycling overseas, and allow them the opportunity to further their cycling ambitions.
The fund offers assistance with the funding of accommodation and race requirements when travelling for cycling events in Europe. Past recipients include Tom Black and Tim Kennaugh, and this year, the fund is assisting cyclists Jonny Bellis, Thomas Mazzone, Sophie Black and Jake Kelly.
Funds are traditionally raised through the annual James Berry Memorial Ride and at the yearly Isle of Man Cycling Association Dinner. At the most recent dinner, a signed Great British cycling jersey from the London Olympics 2012 was auctioned; Microgaming’s final bid for the jersey raised £1500 for the James Berry Fund. Having been signed by all four gold winning members of the Men’s Cycling Team Pursuit, including local hero Peter Kennaugh, the jersey now takes pride of place at Microgaming’s Headquarters in Douglas.
Matthew Berry, along with his parents Ken and Sarah Berry, and Mike Doyle who set up the Fund in James’ memory, comment: “On behalf of the family, we would like to thank Microgaming for this generous donation. Our aim is to give cyclists the best chance of getting a professional contract and this money will go a long way in helping four brilliant riders this year. We would also like to thank all the cycling community that has contributed to the fund over the past few years and finally wish our riders the best of luck on their travels this season.”
Thomas Mazzone, a recipient of the James Berry Fund in both 2012 and 2013, says: “The support from the James Berry Fund and James’ family means a lot to me personally, as James was such a close friend of mine and a massive talent for Isle of Man Cycling. He was very focused on his goals and worked hard to achieve them. Having support from the fund is a great motivation for me to work hard and give 100% as James would, and make the most of every opportunity I am given to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a professional cyclist.”
Roger Raatgever, CEO of Microgaming adds: “Matthew and his family should be very proud of what they have established with the James Berry Fund as it is truly inspirational. We are delighted to accept the signed jersey from Matthew, but we are even more delighted to be able to make a contribution to such a worthy cause.”
For more information on the James Berry Fund, visit the facebook page www.facebook.com/JamesBerryFund.