photos Joanna Rowsell
Women Sport Report’s Helen Keeling spoke to Olympic Gold Medallist Joanna Rowsell …
Hi Joanna. Firstly, congratulations on your gold in the Team Pursuit at London. That must have been a real highlight of your career?
Yes it was. I’ve won World Championship medals before but this was on a whole different scale - not just in terms of the incredible crowd support at each event, but also the aftermath - being recognised on the Tube and going into schools. The amount of people who knew me who don’t usually watch sport surprised me!
You're currently National, European, World and Olympic Champion in the Team Pursuit, and you and your team hold the World Record for the event. Where does your track cycling career go from here?
The event has now changed to being 4km with four girls - so our previous records will stand forever. The new event will be a challenge for all of us. A really exciting new challenge!
How did you get into cycling?
I was talent spotted on my school playing field by British Cycling. I was invited for more testing and was told that I had raw talent for my age (15). I went on to Talent Team (a regional squad), which involved monthly training camps - mostly in the holidays. We tried out different types of cycling, including mountain biking and BMX. I was National Champion by August 2005 (a year after being spotted) and, by 2006, I was in the National Squad.Can you tell us a bit about Sportivate and its work getting more and more young people into sport?
Sportivate gives young people across England the chance to try out lots of sports, including non-traditional sports like cycling, for free or at a discounted price. Everyone should try it - you never know where it will take you! Finally, why would you encourage girls and women to 'get peddling?'
It really is a friendly team sport. and there are all different types of cycling that you can have a go at. Whatever level you are at, cycling gives you freedom!
To find out more about Sportivate, check out www.sportengland.org or go to www.facebook.com/sportivate/ or www.twitter.com/Sportivate_se (@sportivate_se)