Derbyshire Sport – Katie targets the top with DIS backing
New Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS) para-cyclist Katie Toft is determined to use her place on the programme to propel herself onto the World Cup and Paralympic stage.
The 21-year-old track, road and time trial rider from Chinley in the High Peak has previously balanced her training with study.
But having now graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Early Childhood Studies, the member of the Mossley CRT club has set her sights on earning as place on the British Cycling Olympic Development Programme.
If she can achieve that, it would pave the way for Katie to compete on the international stage against some of the best para-cyclists in the world.
“I started cycling as a hobby, but I was really inspired by the London 2012 Paralympics and when I beat some able-bodied blokes in a sprinting session, I decided to have a crack at it,” she said.
“The Rio Paralympics is the dream, but I’m realistic enough to know there are people already training specifically for that and, as people have pointed out that there are other World Cups and Paralympics to go for if not.
“If I can get on the British programme, then I’m optimistic I can make the improvements to compete at that level. But I’m really lucky because my parents have said I can have a year out to concentrate on it and try to get on the programme.