'You can do it too' - cycle star inspires youngsters
PUBLISHED: 12:48 21 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:09 21 June 2019
Norfolk's superstar cyclist Sophie Wright has been inspiring youngsters to follow in her tracks and spreading the joy of successful riding to schools in the county.
Professional cyclist Sophie, from Horsford near Norwich, has been helping engage local students in the upcoming Great British Cycling Festival, and to enthuse the next generation of cyclists. Sophie, 20, has proved that she may come from one of the flattest areas in Britain but she can hold her own with the world's best mountain cyclists. Now a professional cyclist on the Bigla Pro Women's team, she has represented Great Britain at several World and European Championships and was the 2016 European and National Mountain Bike Champion, and National Cyclocross Champion.
She joined special assemblies at schools in Norfolk, talking about cycling in Norfolk as a young girl - when she would practice her technical tricks by bunny-hopping around the garden - and her growth into an elite cyclist.
She also enthused students with the free Festival challenge pack, which can be downloaded free from www.gbcyclingfestival.co.uk
Sophie said: "Norfolk is a great place to cycle; I grew up cycling in the woods around where I grew up and along the north Norfolk coast. One of the great things about cycling is you can ride straight from the front door, and it allows you such freedom.
"There are so many benefits to cycling, too. It's good for your health, there are lots of social opportunities with clubs or a bike ride with friends, and it can be a great way to blow off steam or give yourself some head space if you're feeling stressed.
"These assemblies to promote the Festival have been a lot of fun, it's been good fun to meet the children and answer their questions about my career and achievements, and to see them getting excited about the Festival. The free family Let's Ride through Norwich has been a really good selling point for them too!"
Sophie admits that her injuries are just as interesting as her impressive track record to students - she has her arm in a sling after breaking her clavicle in a cycling accident earlier this month, which has unfortunately taken her out of the Festival's National Championships Road Race.
She's out of the race, but Sophie is still promoting the Festival and engaging more young people and families to enjoy cycling in Norfolk. She'll be at the Cycle Family Fun Day organised by Pushing Ahead at the UEA from 2-3pm on Sunday, June 23 to meet young local cyclists.
Find out more about the events taking place as part of the Great British Cycling Festival at www.gbcyclingfestival.co.uk