178 – The DirtFund Project with Daniel O’Shea

178 – The DirtFund Project with Daniel O’Shea

Today’s Guest:

Daniel O’Shea: Co Founder of The DirtFund Project – A simple idea non profit idea…enthusiasts support privateer mountain bike racers

On episode #178 we chat with Daniel O’Shea about co-founding The DirtFund Project, where the idea came from, how he got started, how it helps privateer racers and how we can all get involved and help out. Plus lots more interesting MTB related stuff!

Believe it or not, but The DirtFund Project was only started in late November 2020 and as I write this (January 2021), they have already funded 3 racers! That is a pretty amazing accomplishment considering the idea came from the back of watching a video by Ben Cathro (watch here), when the simple question was raised by Daniel, ‘why don’t we do something to help privateer racers from Ireland and the Uk?’. 

The following day Daniel registered the domain name and The DirtFund Project was born.

Join us as we chat about how funding privateer racers £1000 each has helped their EWS and UCI adventures, how the racers register to be funded, how we all can help, and future plans to help more racers from more countries.

Enjoy the show!

Find Out:

  • Daniel’s MTB background
  • How he fell into the racing scene
  • Why living in Scotland started his MTB passion
  • How The DirtFund Project was born
  • Where the idea came from
  • How his close friends that got involved from the start
  • Why they believed this was something that could really help up and coming racers
  • Why they funded the first racer from their own pockets
  • How the £1000 fund amount came about
  • How they built the non profit to fund 3 racers in under three months
  • Brands, business and people that have helped so far
  • How you register to get funded
  • How to give money and support the project
  • The racers The DirtFund Project had funded so far
  • How they felt when receiving their funding
  • Future plans of The DirtFund Project
  • How to get in contact and show your support

From the very start this was a team effort. Over the years Daniel has built up a good bunch of mates who all share the same passions, values and love for mountain biking. The love of watching the EWS and World Cup Downhill events play such a large part in this friendship bond, that when the chat of giving something back came about and after watching a video by Ben Cathro helping privateer racers, everybody was willing to donate their time (and money) to give back and help local privateer racers. The very next day The DirtFund Project was born.

The DirtFund Project Team are:

Louise Whitehead

Mike Ashcroft

Murray Flett

Angus Robinson

Kenny Lannon

David Finch

Ned Leary

Media Expert Dan Cox.

Over the last few months the project has gone from strength to strength and has already funded three racers: Calum Mcbain, Harry Byrne and Fergus Ryan. The guys have all been overwhelmed by the support and receiving £1000 cash will help them with everything from entry tickets, to travel expenses to accommodation, and if you know anything about racing the list goes on and on.

When chatting with Daniel it is plain to hear what £1000 cash means to these young riders. It is great getting sponsored with gear, bikes, components etc, and the guys are so thankful for all that their sponsors give them and simply couldn’t race at the EWS or UCI level but, receiving cash helps them in so many other ways with things you wouldn’t even think about, like fuel, food and everything else that goes into attending a race event. 

The DirtFund Project may be a different way of showing these young rippers support but it is unbelievably helpful and lets them go that little further and push that little harder.

We chat to Daniel about the process behind picking the racers that get funded, what they are looking for and how they decide who the winners are (not a very easy process). So, if you are a racer and are looking for funding, listen to this part very closely and get a wheel up in the application process!

We also chat about what the future may hold for The DirtFund Project and how they are very hopeful that they will be able to fund 5 racers this year, with future possibilities of increasing this number. Daniel and the team have a number of different ideas on how to fund future racers and hopefully cover more area’s than Ireland and the UK. This will take the help and support of riders, brands and business, but if we know anything about the mountain bike community, it is that we are a friendly bunch that likes to give back to a sport we love so much, and by helping local privateer races is one great way of doing that.

Tune in and find out how you can get funded, how you can help, and how The DirtFund Project is making a huge difference.

Thanks for tuning in and for showing your support!


Connect with The DirtFund Project:

Website: www.thedirtfundproject.org

Instagram: thedirtfundproject


To Show Your Support:

Just Giving Page: thedirtfund


Riders DirtFund Have Funded So Far:

Calum Mcbain @mcbainer_

Harry Byrne @harryj.byrne

Fergus Ryan @fergus_ryan93



We Chat to Daniel O’Shea About the Dirtfund Project.



Like Minded Mates Who Have Helped:



















To Share Your Thoughts or Get In Contact:

  • Share this show on, Instagram or Facebook
  • Leave a note in the ‘Contact Us’ section on the website

To Help Out The Show:

Thanks so much to Daniel for coming on the show, sharing his story and educating us how The DirtFund Project is helping racers chase their dreams. 

And thank you once again for tuning in. You are all great!

Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!