My nephew Santiago is 14 years old. He lives in a small city of Colombia called Bucaramanga. He is a role model for younger generations. He dreams of becoming a professional cyclist and has been training incredibly hard so one day he can compete internationally, like the cyclists that you see in Tour de France. It's a pretty big deal.
In order for a cyclist to become a professional, they need to be trained during the right time in their life, which is between ages 16 and 17. The truth is that becoming a professional cyclist is very expensive and there is a lot that goes into this training. Having the right training gear, hiring a coach, attending development camps, competing in national and international events are all crucial parts of this sport.
Sponsors find aspiring cyclists at the age of 13 and 14 to invite them to international training programs. This is why Santiago is working tirelessly to get trained so he can be discovered by sponsors. In order for him to have the same opportunities as other well-funded competitors, he needs financial support. Typically, a serious cyclist in training will spend 30% of funds on the proper bicycle, and 70% on the development of the cyclist.
His parents help him as much as possible and Santiago does some informal jobs to collect money but the reality is that their income in Colombia is just very little to cover these costs. This is why I am putting this campaign, so we can hopefully find more sponsorship.
"My name is Daniel Santiago Bueno Rojas. I have been biking since I was 7 years old. My passion is Mountain Biking (MTB) and my dream is to become a professional cyclist. Thanks to God, my discipline, and dedication to biking, I have been able to become a really strong athlete, but currently it is very difficult to continue growing without the funding.
I study high school and train daily. On a typical day, I begin school at 6am and finish my studies after lunch at 2pm. Then I begin training. Training varies from day to day and week to week, and can include biking, swimming, gymnastics and resting periods to recuperate. I work hard because it is my calling to succeed in this sport. "
So far my dedication has paid off in these accomplishments competing in the pre-juvenile category with ~30 people:
September 2020 - Race “Cheque Interno Bucaramanga”
October 2020 - Race Matanza
November 2020 - Race Pony Parque Contrareloj
December 2020 - Race Sabana de Torres XC
The financial support received will go into getting the right biking equipment that can enhance his performance, professional coaching fees, physicals lab tests, and competitions. There are two big national competitions that will inquire transportation, lodging, and enrollment fees. There is also an international event that he aspires to attend called Copa Colombia 2021 MTB.
Being able to participate in these race competitions is what will create the exposure for sponsors to discover his abilities and performance, and therefore reach his goal of becoming the best cyclist in Colombia and potentially the world.
"Today I want you to join my dream and I ask you to support me in what I know will be a long but very fulfilling journey. This dream is not only mine, it also belongs to my family and friends who have been there for me. I appreciate the support of every person who wants to help me get closer to my dream. (Agradezco y reconozco el esfuerzo de todos los que están a mi alrededor para que mi sueño se haga realidad.)"
Videos of him training:
Calendar of Activities: https://www.mtbcolombia.com/calendario
Note: I'll be matching 15% of this campaign goal once we reach the goal.
- Thomas Shaw
- Rachel Proctor
- Jen Rice
- Marinda Martin
- Vishal Joshi
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