Cundy gearing up
Sky scheme has Jody dreaming of greater cycling glory
Last Updated: 02/11/11 7:22pm
Track cyclist Jody Cundy already has a medal haul to be proud of - but is gearing up for even more.
That's because the Paralympic sensation has been named as one of 11 athletes on the revolutionary Sky Sports Scholarship Scheme, designed to help our most exciting prospects fulfil their potential.
Cundy, many would argue, has already done that. After a successful career as a swimmer, the 33-year-old switched to cycling in 2006 and now boasts an incredible 23 gongs in major championships, 14 of them gold.
But even he still struggles to find the funds to maintain his success and admits that the Sky scheme will enable him to hone his track talents even further.
"I don't know I can say it's a measurable thing. But I know that if I trained all on my own, with completely no support, I could to it - to a certain extent - but I couldn't do the hours I do, I couldn't rest properly, I couldn't go away to the places I need to."
Jody Cundy Quotes of the week
"It's an essential part of training and the process of being an elite athlete," he told Sky Sports News HD.
"You have to go out and train in the winter month which means for me, out on the roads - and it's just not possible.
"With the support of Sky I can afford warm-weather training camps. I can go and enjoy the roads, feel safe, get away from those drivers who are maniacs and get some good miles in.
"I used to be a swimmer and swimming trunks didn't really cost that much, it was just the travel to and from events around the country.
"But in cycling you have equipment costs, bike costs, parts that go onto the bike that cost easily £2,000 to £3,000. Add all that up and all of a sudden it gets exponentially bigger.
"Then you have to go away on warm weather camps, but you also have to carry the bike, so that's extra luggage you have to pay for.
"It all adds up to a very expensive sport, so any help I can get is fantastic and having Sky behind me is brilliant."
Cundy, who was awarded the MBE in 2009 for his contribution to disabled sports, is the first to admit that money in the bank does not always equate to medals round the neck.
Cambridgeshire man is the world record holder at the Kilo, which he set on his way to winning gold in Beijing, but is now looking forward to surpassing his own stunning achievements.
"I don't know I can say it's a measurable thing," he said of what effect the funding will have.
"But I know that if I trained all on my own, with completely no support, I could to it - to a certain extent - but I couldn't do the hours I do, I couldn't rest properly, I couldn't go away to the places I need to.
"Without all those bits that add up, I'd be good but I wouldn't be as excellent as I am."