I am Maroesjka Matthee, a 24 year old track cyclist. I work at Body and Bike Physio centre as a sports massage therapist and cycle to pursue a sports career. Since I started cycling six years ago, I have dominated the track in Western Cape and dominated for the last few years on a National basis.
I need to get exposure on an International basis to build up points to go to World Cup Track cycling championships, because my end goal is to qualify and represent South Africa at the Olympics in 2016 / 2020. With this said, my first step is to go to Pennsylvania where T-town is, one of the world's best cycling tracks. The Lehigh Country Velodrome is situated in Trexlertown (T-Town) and attracts the best cyclists from around the world. To stay competitive and be on the top of my game I have to compete in these events and in doing these races I will get UCI points to qualify firstly for world cups which takes place in November, December and January. And if I have enough UCI points, I can qualify and compete at Worlds in February. If everything goes well at all those events then I can qualify for Commonwealth games 2014.
Funding has proven to be very difficult. On a local basis, I have tried every cycling organization - CSA (Cycling South Africa), PPA (Pedal Power Association), etc - but they just say they don't have the funds. I have a letter from CSA stating that I am good enough and I need to do international racing, but they don't have the money to send me. I am still waiting on an answer from Western Cape sport.
I don't have a coach at this time as they ask a lot of money to train athletes. My preparation and training has come through reading a lot of training books and getting advice from the German national team when they train here at the Bellville velodrome in January every year.
I race with the men on local leagues on the track and road to make the racing harder. I think racing with them gives me good preparation for how women racing on international level would be. It is indeed crucial for me to race against the women on an international level to gain that level of experience and to compare myself with them to judge whether I can up my game for upcoming Olympics or the 2020 games.
We received a helmet sponsor from Casco last year.
I am very grateful for any financial / kit assistance I receive, but in order to race, compete successfully and do my country proud, I do require further sponsorship:
Clothing sponsor, casual and gym wear;
Financial sponsor to help with costs of all cycling expenses;
Equipment sponsor like a bike and wheels;
A coach to work hand in hand with me.
If you are able to sponsor me in any way, I would be massively grateful! Please feel free to contact me to discuss this further.