Sarah on becoming a cyclist
Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy, intern with the South Australian Rural Youth Ambassadors
My journey (so far) as a professional cyclist
My introduction to cycling
My journey into cycling is a little different compared to most people. When I was in year 10 at Mount Gambier High School, the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) visited our school to run talent identification testing. This involved jumping on a bike and completing a 6-second peak power test as well as a 2-minute endurance test. I actually wasn’t supposed to do the initial testing however I was in the Athletics Program at the time and there was a spare bike, so my teacher asked if I would like to patriciate and of course, I said yes! After mum came and dropped my clothes off at school, I completed the testing and was later invited to join the Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy – a dream come true! I began training at the local Velodrome however the Covid pandemic in 2020 put our training to a halt. In 2021, whilst I was in year 12, my training increased, and I was able to begin racing both on the track and on the road!
The challenges of cycling in a rural town
For quite a while I was a little unsure of whether Cycling was for me; I was so new to everything, I had so little experience and I still have so much to learn! There are also very few female cyclists in Mount Gambier, so I often train by myself or several other older men, which makes it very challenging at times!
Strength to strength
After competing in my first State Championships earlier this year, where I won a silver and a bronze medal, I was fortunate to make the State team to represent South Australia at the National Championships and Oceania Championships in Brisbane.
I was fortunate to make the bronze medal final in the Individual Pursuit… this was a complete shock to me as I didn’t think I would even be in the State Team, let alone a chance at placing! It was a super close final against one of my South Australian Teammates however I ended up coming 4th by 0.001 of second! Although I was absolutely devastated, it taught me how much I cared and I much I wanted this and I just knew at that moment that I wanted to take this as far as I could and make my family, my friends and my country proud!
Dreams and aspirations
My dream is to travel the world, meet some incredible people and love what I do! I also have a few pretty big aspirations to make it to the highest level in my sport. My first goal is to make the National Team and compete at the 2026 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics- competing for my country in front of a home crowd would be a dream come true! I also have the goal to one day be a World Champion in the 3km Individual Pursuit!
My advice to young people
I feel very fortunate to be in the position I am in and to have some incredible support around me. Although living in the country has made it challenging, I wouldn’t have it any other way and I would really encourage other country kids to get outside and have a go at some sports they wouldn’t normally consider… you never know where it might lead you!
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