The Dave Aitchison SportsAid Fund has been set up to assist talented young triathletes in the Triathlon London and SE regions to succeed in the sport.
Athletes who receive funding must be identified and nominated by the British Triathlon Federation, the sport’s national governing body, based on their talent and sporting results. Applicants must be aged between 12 and 30 years old; be a member of the Triathlon London or SE region IRC squads, Triathlon London Academy, South East Region Academy, Triathlon England talent squad or GB Age Group team; and live and train in the Triathlon London region. Successful applicants will typically receive grants of £500-£1,000 per year.
The fund has been set up in memory of Dave Aitchison, a rising star in British Triathlon, who died suddenly in January 2007, aged 29, from an undetected heart condition (arrhythmogenic ventricular cardiomyopathy). Dave was a strong cross country runner as a schoolboy and developed a passion for cycling as a mountain biker at University before moving into triathlons where he really excelled. As part of the Herbalife Triathlon Academy, in his first year of competition Dave won the Age Group race at both London Triathlon and London Duathlon before taking Bronze at the World Age Group Championships in Lausanne and being named British Triathlon's Age Group Triathlete of the Year.
Whilst Dave undoubtedly trained with a seriousness befitting his results, those who knew him remember how he seemed to just love life and pass on this infectious joy to everyone who was lucky enough to spend time with him. Dave made an enormous impact on his fellow triathletes, making a huge number of friends - from club mates to those he raced against. He had a profound affect on many people, with everyone reflecting on the fun and laughter he brought to them. As his coach, Bill Black, says: "Dave had all the attributes of an elite professional athlete yet was extremely modest and possessed the ability to switch off and be mischievous and funny."
Jenny and Tony Aitchison (Dave’s parents) and Jane (his sister) regard themselves as tremendously fortunate to have been blessed with a wonderful son and brother, who brought them and so many others so much pleasure. He was so loving, caring, considerate, thoughtful, intelligent, sensitive and principled. He possessed far more silliness than one person is entitled to, loved fooling around and kept the family constantly entertained with his pranks. He was the sunshine in the life of Claire Bridget, his girlfriend, who was treated to a new song and dance routine each day! He would light up a room when he entered, was multi-talented and but for his incredible modesty he could have so easily prompted jealousy in others.
Dave's triathlon club, Ful-On Tri Club, organise an annual cyclosportive - The Surrey Legs of Steel: Dave Aitchison Challenge Ride from Boxhill, taking in the thigh-burning Surrey Hills where Dave did so much of his training, earning himself the "Legs of Steel" title. All profits from the event go direct to the fund. In its first two years, the event has raised over £12,500. The ride this year will take place on 26th September 2009, please visit www.fulontri.com for details of how to take part.
For details of the athletes who are benefitting from Dave Aitchison funding, please visit the www.triathlonlondon.org website.
Donating to the Dave Aitchison Fund through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to make a donation. The Dave Aitchison SportsAid Fund will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.
Many thanks for your support,
Tony & Jenny Aitchison, and all Dave's family and friends.
Dave Aitchison SportsAid Fund
Fundraising for SportsAid
We are the only UK charity of its kind to to support young British sportsmen & women