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The Mark Gunter Photographer of the Year Awards have always had, at their core, the desire to help others with the money raised – whether by raising money for cancer research, or providing financial assistance to young cyclists in their development. This year, we were honoured to have multiple time-World Champion and legend of the sport Marianne Vos acting as the judge, determining who would be the recipient of the Young Cyclist Assistance fund, receiving $1000 each to be able to help further their cycling dreams.
There were a number of striking submissions this year – as Marianne noted, “they all would be deserved winners… The determination and wide potential of these youngsters is incredible and even though the financial part is a pressure point in this part of their careers, it’s beautiful to read and see the perseverance they have to chase their dreams.”
After extensive deliberation Marianne arrived at a conclusion, awarding the Young Cyclist Assistance grants to Catalina Soto and Taj Mueller. Marianne’s comments on the two winners are included below:
“Catalina is a young rider from Chile who lives to chase the dream of becoming one of the best of the world. In order to reach her goals she knows it’s a big investment (in all of its aspects), but she is also determined to take those steps in the light of her future career.
Taj’s is an inspirational story from a boy from Broome that has given more to the world in his young life than most of us will do in our whole life. He wants to do good for everybody, but he also works really hard to become the best cyclist he can be.”
Thank you to all nominees, and congratulations Catalina and Taj!