NICHOLAS PAUL’S domestic cycling club – Central Spokes – is gearing up for the start of a unique fundraising campaign to aid the Tokyo-bound cyclist on his Olympic journey.
On May 1, the club will introduces its #TNT2TOKYO online group ride as one of the primary fundraising initiatives for the Olympic debutant.
The #TNT2TOKYO virtual ride is open to athletes of all ages, from all across the world and costs US$30 to register. All of the proceeds from this event go toward Paul’s preparation.
The 22-year-old sprint cyclist called on his fellow local and international cyclists, enthusiasts of the sport and supporters to come on board with this initiative as he seeks to better his chances at Olympic success.
Paul is the world record holder in the Flying 200 metres (9.1 seconds) and the reigning Pan American sprint champion. He and countryman Kwesi Browne have both qualified to fly the red, white and black in the sprint and keirin events at the Tokyo Games.
“This event is to assist me to acquire the necessary resources leading up to the Games such as equipment, supplements, living and travelling expenses and meals to name a few," said Paul.
“Representing TT is always a proud moment for me. Being the Pan American champion in the sprint gave me the honour of wearing the Pan Am stripes in competition.
“It’s not only an honour but as a responsibility as a well as to represent to the best of my ability, not only TT, but the Pan American region,” added Paul.
To register for the online rides, persons must log on to the Central Spokes website (www.centralspokescycleclub.org). After clicking “Register”, they will be taken to another page to enter details and other selections specific to their registration process.
Once registration is completed, participants will be automatically forwarded to the Challenge Hound site – the site used to tabulate the participants’ mileage for the event.
They will be prompted to sign in and can then link their respective Garmin Connect, Strava or Under Armour accounts. This will record, whether an actual ride or virtual, the mileage that would be loaded toward this event.
If a participant wishes to register after the start of the ride, but before the deadline (May 14), they can go ahead and do so. All of the rides they’ve ridden from the start date, or that period, will still be loaded towards the Challenge Hound.
Alternatively, persons can visit the Motorcycle Etc (MCE Bike Shop) in Cunupia or call any of the associated contacts (693-2754) for further assistance for the registration process.
The virtual challenge starts on May 1 from 12.01 am and ends on May 31 at 11.59 pm.
The first 150 participants to register receive a challenge t-shirt and commemorative medal. The top male and female riders with the maximum miles at the end will each take home a new Garmin Instinct watch, valued $2,600, courtesy Garmin and MCE Bike Shop.
Paul said, “To represent your country at the Olympic Games is one, if not the most prestigious achievement in an athlete’s life. In cycling, to qualify for the Games, it’s a rigorous four-year process with a lot of ups and downs.
“Without personal sacrifice, discipline, dedication, together with coaching staff, club support, family, friends and supporters, it would be almost impossible to qualify. I always give thanks to God. To all who have supported me thus far in my journey, it really means a lot.
“With little days to go for the Olympics, I’m inviting everyone to join me in the #T&T2Tokyo venture by participating in the virtual ride challenge by making a donation or even purchasing a t-shirt,” he continued.
Paul added that being the world record holder in the Flying 200m, to date, is one of his most memorable moments. According to him, it proved that hard work pays off and nothing is impossible.
Additionally, club vice president Avinash Chinaikan also called on supporters to rally around this initiative to help offset some of Paul’s costs and preparations ahead.
Chinaikan said that about two years ago, club members were ecstatic when Paul asked to join the Central Spokes family.
“The sheer honour and prestige of having the world record holder in our ranks was just mind-blowing. So we met with Nicholas, and to our surprise the feeling was mutual.
“Nicholas liked the way we conducted ourselves and the events we were doing and he wanted to be part of the family. We accepted and it has been a great relationship so far.
“That is why this event came naturally to us. We just had to do this to support Nicholas. He’s one of our own, a son of the soil and we want to show him that support and be part of the journey,” said Chinaikan.