August 31, 2007 (Vancouver B.C.) – This past Tuesday, August 28, a fundraiser for Canada’s National Downhill Team, organized by coach Chris Colbeck, took place at Fiddle Head Joe’s in Vancouver. In spite of a very hectic schedule, Colbeck managed to organize the fundraiser just days before the majority of the National DH Team heads to Fort William, Scotland to compete at the 2007 MTB World Championships, September 8-9.
Colbeck founded the National Downhill Cycling Foundation of Canada (NDCFC) earlier this year with the specific aim of generating money for Canadian downhillers. Colbeck initiated the foundation to raise the much needed funding, as Sport Canada does not provide the discipline with financial support, since downhill mountain biking is not an Olympic sport.
The evening began with a semi-formal dinner at Fiddle Head Joe’s . This small reception was a pleasant way to kick things off. In attendance were many athletes, parents and other supporters. The relaxed atmosphere right on the water was a good way to see the fruits of Colbeck’s labour begin to take shape.
After dinner the attendees were off to the party, located at the Plaza Club right in the heart of Vancouver. With the band Yuca, a slideshow by Warwick Patterson, a short film and a top notch DJ, the evening’s entertainment was set. The event was open to all, with the goal assisting and encouraging Canadian downhillers to kick butt at the 2007 MTB Worlds – a worthy cause to toast and the party was on.
It was awesome to see industry folk and friends alike commit to this great cause, and as a result of Colbeck’s efforts, we can look forward to this fundraiser as an annual event. Some of the notables at the Plaza were Ben Boyko, Andrea and Michael Kraft Costigan, Steve Mitchell, Claire Buchar, Jeff Beatty, Jamie Biluk, Haruki “Harookz” Noguchi, Lesley Tomlinson, Micayla Gatto, Warwick Patterson and Danika Schroeter.
Colbeck, who was totally frazzled by the end of the week’s build up, said “All my efforts were totally worth it, because this is for the riders of today and the riders of tomorrow. Working on this really keeps me going, I’m so passionate about making it financially sustainable and I won’t stop until we reach that goal.”
Further efforts to collect revenue aside from these two great events were donations and an e-bay auction. The cumulative total won’t be known until sometime after the MTB Worlds, but here’s to the right foot being put forward by all those who attended, donated and supported this great effort.
Chris Colbeck is the manager/coach of the 2007 National DH cycling team and a former member himself. He is the founder of the National Downhill Cycling Foundation of Canada (NDCFC) – or more info on the NDCFC visit www.NDCFCanada.com