Monday, November 7, 2011
Young Wymondham mountain biker and future Olympic hopeful Imogen Buick is already feeling inspired – and on two fronts.
The 16-year-old was boosted last month by a £500 grant from SportsAid Norfolk, off the back of a visit to the London Olympics’ mountain bike course at Hadleigh Farm in Essex.
“The grant is going to make such a difference,” said Buick. “It’s so helpful with the expenses for getting around the country – and internationally next year, which will be even more expensive.
“It’s the replaceable kit and things for the bike you need all the time that you can’t get from any of your sponsors.”
Next year’s Games will come too soon for Buick, who is British number three at cyclo-cross and number five at mountain biking in the youth ranks.
However, that has not stopped her being inspired by the prospect of the world’s elite coming to town in only a matter of months.
“I went to the test event at Hadleigh Farm and that was almost like being at the Olympics – there were so many people,” said Buick.
“It was amazing, so good to watch, and some of the guest riders were people I knew.
“I just can’t wait for the Olympics to happen now and I think, especially after the event, the legacy will still be there.
“And then I can go out and ride the venue!”
The Wymondham youngster, who was presented her grant by Athens Olympic rowing silver medalist Alison Mowbray at Carrow Road last month, has a big year ahead.
With the prospect of A-levels at Wymondham College to juggle, Buick has started winter training ahead of potential trips across the globe for World Cup races – set to be her first time competing abroad.
“That is going to be a huge step definitely – so I’m not expecting huge things next year,” admitted Buick. “But hopefully I will get to those World Cups and do reasonably well.
“I am a bit scared but I am so excited because it’s just going to be such a good experience and all so new. And even though I don’t expect to do particularly well because the standard of people I will be up against will be so much higher than now, I do think it will be really good for me.”
• SportsAid Norfolk hold their next fundraising lunch for businesses in February. To get involved, contact Rob Davies on 07709 366310.