AMBASSADORS

Joanna Sharpe

Joanna Sharpe

"I could achieve whatever I wanted in life, as long as I worked hard enough"

I was a pretty sporty kid but nothing out of the ordinary. Neither of my parents were sporty at all but I figure that with two kids, both magnets to trouble, it was their way to keep us occupied and out of mischief. Both my brother and I are adopted you see and to be honest there were times that I wasn’t the easiest of kids to parent, or love for that matter. My Mum and Dad, both amazing, patient and eternally kind people, taught me many things and have always been in my corner no matter what. They instilled one thing in particular in me and that was that I could achieve whatever I wanted in life, as long as I worked hard enough. I was a messed up kid with issues but somehow this stuck.

 

I loved horse riding. My pony was my best friend and we took part in Pony Club together as a family.  I was a keen runner and as I got older running was a real escape and a way of staying fit. Unfortunately, after a series of fractures in my legs and feet,  I was diagnosed with early onset osteoporosis and this meant that I couldn’t run again. A bitter pill to swallow to be honest and with so many activities involving impact I felt at a bit of a loss. My specialist suggested cycling so, despite my hesitations, inability to ride a road bike and the fact that I hadn’t owned a bike since a BMX when I was a kid, I gave it a go. That was four years ago and the irony is I am far better on a bike than I was on a horse or using my own two feet.



"I've met some amazing people, cycled for kilometres across our beautiful country, and won a few races too along the way"

My cycling goals are simple:

1) To see how far I can go and how many adventures I can have whilst I still can.

2) To inspire other people to be the best they can be, to take on a challenge and give it a go. I love to be part of helping others achieve their goals.

 It’s been an incredible few years for me. I've met some amazing people, cycled for kilometres across our beautiful country, and won a few races too along the way. I love the camaraderie, the adventure and pushing myself beyond my perceived limits. I've learnt so much about myself and that we all really can do whatever we set our minds to, as long as we work hard, and have the right people working with us to achieve our goals.

I am desperately fortunate to have the most amazing team. Here’s how we are made up. I’ve spoken of my Mum and Dad already who, from the UK, literally lose sleep over my adventures. Then there is my partner, Jude, who is without doubt my biggest cheerleader. She keeps me honest and supports me in all I do. My coach Mat Lewisham and I have been a tight unit for over three years now and together there is nothing we can’t take on. Evo Cycles are my fantastic sponsor and as we share the same values and goals around cycling we fit like a glove; I’m so lucky to have them in my corner. Now I’m really excited to be an ambassador and to work with TooT. The objectives of founder Belinda Duffy, a kick ass cyclist herself, sit so well with my goals that I am honoured to be working together. So we really are a team, my tight five and I. We all give our best and trust each other implicitly. That’s how we continue to have fun, get results and learn a lot along the way.

 

"We  took out 1st in age grade and 4thoverall at the Wellington to Auckland 7 day Cycle Race that year"

We like to challenge ourselves all the time in my team. We took our 1st Age Grade win in a multi-day race in 2015 with the Tour of Northland so in 2016 decided to up the ante. We  took out 1st in age grade and 4thoverall at the Wellington to Auckland 7 day Cycle Race that year… wow what an experience that was. We followed that up with the UCI World Champs later that year and, despite a crash that prevented the result we were really after, we learnt so much and I had a ball, well, apart from the crashing part. To represent my country was an honour I will never forget! We just took on our 1st 1 day Ultra race, Taupo Enduro 320km, with the new addition of Toot to our team, it was a total highlight to come 2nd woman. Together we hope to take part in Wellington to Auckland again in 2017 and after that……….well I can’t give away all my secrets can I, but suffice to say that with my team I will keep challenging myself. If I can encourage someone else along the way to give something a go, well then I’m happy. For that reason I’m humbled to be a “face of the games” for cycling at The World Masters Games 2017 and would love to see lots of people out there, giving their all to achieve some PBs.

 

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