Cycling community crowdfund for young star
A fund-raising campaign has been launched in a bid to help a budding teenage cyclist become a professional rider. Georgia Mansfield, 18, of Moray, has dreams of fulfilling her potential but has struggled for many years with the cost of the sport.
The young Miltonduff cyclist’s talent was spotted in her early teens by local riders. Despite being ill-equipped compared to many of her peers (she rode a heavy old-fashioned bike and wore second-hand racing shoes), Georgia has won numerous titles.
She is the Scottish Junior Road Race Champion and holds the Scottish 25 mile and 50 mile records, among others.
Now the Just Giving fund-raiser, Project Georgia, aims to crowdfund £2500 so she can continue her career racing in the UK and Europe. Georgia will race with one of Britain’s top cycling teams, Torelli, next year
The Project Georgia Fundraising Committee says: ““Georgia’s results and reputation in cycling are growing and we’re hoping that she will soon progress to racing for our national cycling organisations, or for a professional cycling team. By 2024, we’re hoping that the post box in Miltonduff turns gold.
“She is one of the most dedicated, determined and talented youngsters you could meet.”
Georgia herself is full of hope. She says: “I am really excited to be racing with Torelli and to have the opportunity to compete all over the UK and in Europe.
“When I first started racing, I could hardly even afford to race 10 events a year and they needed to be within 30 miles of my home due to costs.
“The obstacles in my path always seemed impossible to avoid, but even though I couldn’t see a way around them I never stopped hoping that one day I would make it to the very top of cycling.
“But now thanks to a wonderful team of supporters who’ve been incredibly generous my my ambitions a realistic chance.”
Georgia’s cycling talents
In October 2013, two Moray cyclists were riding the Bike Revolution Charity Ride, on Speyside, and happened to meet the then 14-year-old Georgia. She talked of her ambitions and they invited her to cycle with their club, the Moray Wheelers.
Half a winter later, it was obvious that Georgia had something special. On a bike that cost less than a quarter of most of the mid-price bikes in the group, she was keeping up with, and beating, most of the “faster” riders – and with ease.
She could even hold the wheel of now British Cycling para cyclist and triple Paraplympic medal winner Steve Bate when he came out with the group.
Sheila Scott is the chair of the Project Georgia Fundraising Committee. She says: “Discussions in the café during club rides often centred around Georgia’s speed and development – and the state of her rickety old bike. We talked about possibly buying her a new steed.
“We also found out that she raced her first two seasons wearing mountain bike shoes under overshoes, or a pair of second-hand donated race shoes.
“We eventually persuaded Georgia to join one of the official cycling clubs in the area – and she chose the one with the best youth development programme, Forres CC.
“There she continued to progress and also found a coach, the race winner and track world champion, Peter Ettles.”
Georgia has just completed a season racing for new Scottish team RT23 and will be joining the up-and-coming women’s team, NCC Kuota Torelli in 2018 to race nationally and in Europe.
Shelia adds: “Georgia is very committed but she will struggle to fulfil team commitments without practical and financial help so we are raising funds to help with her travelling expenses, bike maintenance and health dietary requirements.”
To support the appeal, visit: Just Giving Project Georgia
See more on Georgia Mansfield’s website.