20-year-old Ollie, from the West Midlands, was a late convert to cycling having been a successful National level athlete and highly competent cross-country runner. Since starting to cycle he has been the Junior Midland TT Champion and Junior Club Record Holder at Worcester St Johns Cycling Club. On winning a few Road Races in the summer of 2018 Ollie knew he had to cycle on the Continent to pursue a career in the sport once he’d finished his studies.
Ollie contacted us recently to share his progress with us and his thoughts about the RGF, He said: “In 2019, I spent 6 months racing in Belgium, which is the undisputed heart of competitive cycling in Europe. I was entirely self – funded last season, having worked multiple part time jobs in the winter to save for the coming year. I’m also fortunate to have a very supportive family. This was great; however, it was very difficult to train full time and earn. I’d picked up a virus in the winter of 2018 which I’m sure was from doing too much. This setback certainly hampered my season last year, though I still learnt and improved so much. I had the time of my life and knew I wanted to follow a similar path for 2020.
Your support has made a difference…
I’m still very much on my journey though it is heading in the right direction. This coming road racing season, I will be representing a Continental Swedish Cycling Team, being the only Brit in the set up. After my experience in Belgium, the Team Manager of Memil Pro Cycling recognised my drive and potential and has given me a chance in the Team’s U23 team for 2020. I will be racing a calendar of races across Europe and coming home to the UK in summer to hopefully perform well in the National Championships, where I won’t really be on the radar of the more experienced riders.
The support from The Rob George Foundation has been an amazing boost for me. I still worked at home before Christmas, though I flew out to Majorca at the start of January to begin a warm-weather training camp before the season begins. I’ve never had the experience of training in a warmer climate over winter, so I’m not taking it for granted one bit! I’m still here now, a month later, and the total commitment to my training and preparation for the season here over the last month is all thanks to the RGF. The RGF grant has helped cover well over a month of expenses out here on training camp, and it has enabled me to have a far better winter of training compared to last year!
Without the support from the RGF, my whole training experience in Majorca would not have been possible, and it has helped remove financial pressures regarding my season and chasing my sporting dreams. All I can hope is that I am making Rob and his family proud, his story is inspirational. I am honoured to become an ‘ambassador’ for The Rob George Foundation.
We all wish Ollie all the very best for the 2020 season!