Funding Boost Brings Equality for Flagship Event
Plans for Rás na mBan have received a considerable boost with the announcement of key support and funding from the Department of Sport, Sport Ireland and Cycling Ireland in 2024.
The 18th edition of Ireland’s top elite stage race for women will run from September 4th to 8th from a base in Kilkenny and the confirmed funding will help secure another key international sports event in Ireland this year.
This is the first time in the history of Irish international stage racing that funding from the governing body and stage agencies for the top women’s event matches that awarded to the equivalent male event and represents a watershed moment in the continuing recognition of Rás na mBan as a flagship event on the Irish sporting calendar.
Speaking at the announcement, James Quilligan, CEO Cycling Ireland said, “Cycling Ireland is delighted to announce an increase in funding for the 2024 Rás na mBan from the Department of Sport and Sport Ireland. Our elite stage races are led by an incredible group of volunteers, and we look forward to working with Rás na mBan as event partner in 2024.
“The race is among the most important on the Irish calendar and showcases the very best of Irish cycling. It has attracted many top international cyclists throughout its storied history. We’d like to thank Minister Martin, Minister Byrne, the Department of Sport and Sport Ireland’s support of the races.”
Speaking at the funding announcement Rás na mBan Race Director Valerie Considine said, “I’d like to convey our sincere gratitude to Sport Ireland, Cycling Ireland and to Minsters Martin and Byrne for their continuing backing of our event through finance and other logistical supports without which the event would quite simply not take place.
“I would also like to express our deep satisfaction at the fact that, after 17 years, we have achieved equality in official funding from state agencies and the national governing body. Staging this event is a year-round project and our funding is derived from a variety of sources.
“It’s an ongoing challenge and our objective is to achieve a measure of stability so that we can be sure the event has a multi-year strategy.”
Rás na mBan 2024 will run from a base in Kilkenny from Wednesday 4th to Sunday 8th September with teams from all over the world racing in Kilkenny and surrounding counties over six stages in five days.
Further route details and team rosters will be revealed in the coming weeks and months.