Olympic Gold Medalist Joanna Rowsell Inspires Young Cyclists
26th February 2013
The National Lottery took Lottery-funded Olympic cycling gold medallist Joanna Rowsell to meet members of a Lottery-funded cycling project in Croydon on the day it receives an additional grant from The National Lottery.
Carshalton-born Rowsell, who won Olympic Gold in the team pursuit track cycling alongside team mates Dani King and Laura Trott at London 2012, joined members of Wheels for Wellbeing to share her inspirational story.
With £467,377 of National Lottery funding, Wheels for Wellbeing has already helped hundreds of disabled people to learn to cycle using a wide variety of specially designed bikes.
The charity today received an additional £10,000 of Lottery funding to extend its work to people who are blind and partially sighted. The funding will be used to buy tandem bicycles for bike ballet - outdoor dance performances on bikes.
Young people from another Lottery-funded project, Alopecia UK, were also invited to the event for a chance to meet one of their idols. The teenagers who attended all use Headzup, an online forum which was set up with £4,500 of Lottery-funding to provide advice and support for sufferers of alopecia. It was the first time some of them had met anyone else with alopecia.
Olympian Joanna Rowsell said: “It has been a wonderful experience to meet the youngsters from both Wheels for Wellbeing and Alopecia UK. Alopecia is a part of my life and I want people to know that there is nothing that you cannot do in this life if you put your mind to it. Alopecia does not stop you living your life and achieving your dreams.
The 24-year-old continued, “National Lottery funding changed my life, it allowed me to train full-time at superb facilities and receive world-class coaching and medical support which resulted in success during the summer.
“The National Lottery has been changing lives for 18 years and it’s not just athletes that benefit. National Lottery players should be proud that they are helping to fund projects which are helping people like that I have met today and funding thousands of other good causes all over the UK.”
Isabelle Clement, director of Wheels for Wellbeing, said: “We have really enjoyed having Joanna Rowsell join us today. Having such a successful Olympian visit will certainly inspire the people who are involved with Wheels for Wellbeing. There has been a large investment in this project providing more opportunities for many people to get involved in cycling. We are very excited at the prospect of reaching more blind and visually impaired cyclist through working with Tandem Ballet – Joanna has been a huge inspiration today.”
Peter Wanless, Chair of the National Lottery Forum, added: “National Lottery players raise £30 million a week for Good Causes and today shows the fantastic variety of projects that this funding supports. Everyone who plays the Lottery should feel proud that they are making a difference to everyone, from top athletes to young people involved in charities such as Wheels for Wellbeing and Alopecia UK.”
Joanna Rowsell is one of 1,200 National Lottery funded elite athletes. The funding allows her to compete and train full time to the highest of international standards. The National Lottery invested up to £2.2 billion in London 2012, allowing our athletes, venues and volunteers to shine on the world stage.
Notes to editors
For further information please contact: