Cycling | International Track Racing Fund
Hi, I’m Darragh Zaidan, an International Irish track cyclist.
I have re-launched my online appeal for funding in the hope members of the public, especially those within the cycling community, will help me to raise the cash I need to race abroad and develop as a rider.
I raced in France in 2012 and 2013. Competing in the colours of VCC Morteau in 2012, I then progressed significantly and moved up a division when I secured a place with UC Aubenas (DN3) in the south of France.
However, a number of bad crashes sidelined me for most of the 2013 season and my recovery took the best part of a year to get over, so serious were my injuries.
This past 16 months, I have based myself back at home in Ireland and have put particular emphasis on the track, which I plan to continue to focus on in the years ahead.
So far this season I took Silver in the Elite National Omnium Championships following on from three Bronze Medals I won last year in the team pursuit, individual pursuit and scratch race. And, thanks to a previous crowdfunding campaign, I also managed to ride at some international track races last year in Austria, Belgium, England and Wales.
In my final year as an U23 rider and racing with Arcane Adamstown Cycling Team, I am hopeful of breaking into the Irish national set-up on the track, with the ultimate long-term aim of making it to the Olympic Games.
But in order to make that kind of progress, I need regular exposure to international racing which will cost money.
In a bid to tap into the goodwill of people who want to see young Irish riders progressing, and who may be willing to make a donation to my cause, I have set up this crowdfunding page.
Most riders in my position and with similar ambitions have gone down the route of gaining selection to the Irish national cycling team and been supported in their international training and racing by Cycling Ireland; or they have not succeeding in that regard and given up on their dreams.
With opportunities via Cycling Ireland very limited in the current climate, I have decided to take the initiative and try to carve out my own route.
My aim is to raise money to fund travelling to International races to chase the results I need to become part of Cycling Ireland’s plans long-term.
I’m hoping to carry out a full programme of international track racing across Europe towards the end of the summer and right through the winter.
I used last winter to gain experience and hopefully this year I can earn the results needed to build towards getting on the elite national track squad with long-term goals of qualifying for European and World Championships and ultimately the Olympics.
I know my plans are ambitious but I feel that people who know me in the sport would vouch for my dedication. I believe that if I secure enough support I can achieve my goals.
I’m dedicated, hard working and I dream big!
Thanks in advance for your support. It means everything.