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Amy Gillett Foundation Launched in Melbourne
Mark Webber and Phil Anderson are co-patrons
Mark Webber urges motorists to watch out for cyclists in Amy Gillett's name
Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber has urged motorists to look out for cyclists when driving.
Speaking at the launch of the Amy Gillett Foundation in Melbourne today, Webber revealed he accepted the position as a Patron of the Foundation after being profoundly affected by Australian cyclist Amy Gillett's death in Germany last year.
The Amy Gillett Foundation has been established to promote safe and harmonious relationships between cyclists and motorists. With bike sales outnumbering cars - Australians have bought over 1.1 million bikes each year for the last five years - and 35 deaths and 2,500 serious injuries involving cyclists each year, the majority involving a motor vehicle, this road safety message is becoming increasingly important.
Established in memory of Amy Gillett, the Foundation aims to: · promote a safe and harmonious relationship between cyclists and motorists · provide an annual scholarship for emerging female cyclists · assist the five women injured in the crash in Germany
The Foundation will achieve its cyclist/motorist safety objective by conducting marketing awareness campaigns and ultimately education campaigns and research.
'Like many Australians, I was affected by the death of Amy and injuries to her five team mates, so the chance to support the aims of the Amy Gillett Foundation means a lot to me,' Webber said.
A professional driver and enthusiastic cyclist, Webber said he was committed to the Foundation's message that the road belongs to everyone.
'If we are to reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists on our roads, then all road users must respect each other's rights, whether they have two wheels or four,' he added.
Lorian Graham, one of Amy's injured team mates attending the launch said, 'It's not such a big ask for everyone to be more considerate. Cyclists should obey the rules and drivers should be aware of cyclists and exercise caution. What's more important - a couple minutes of your time or someone's life?'
Webber is joined by Australian Tour de France legend Phil Anderson as co-patron of the Foundation. Melinda Jacobsen was introduced as General Manager of the Foundation.
2003 junior pursuit World Champion, Jessie MacLean, 20, was announced as the first recipient of the Amy Gillett Scholarship,
'The ability to pursue my cycling and academic career and help people to remember Amy is a special privilege for me,' said an ecstatic Jessie MacLean.
The Amy Gillett Scholarship, a joint partnership between The Amy Gillett Foundation and Cycling Australia's AIS High Performance Program, helps talented female cyclists achieve their sporting and academic goals.
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