ZAAZEE caught up with cycling and triathlon enthusiast Alice Sharpe to talk sports and her career after graduating from university. The freelance Event Manager loves her job, but remains competitive as ever and hopes to pursue a cycling path.
My fitness journey
I’ve always been sporty. I learned to swim aged 4 and was swimming competitively four years later at my local swimming club. I began cross country running at 10 with my primary school cross-country team. From this I fell into triathlon. We had a great junior set up at my local club Cambridge Triathlon.
This was before triathlon was ‘cool’ and so lots of people at my school thought i was a total weirdo for doing a sport other than football or netball. But I shut them all up when it came to PE. I was by far the best swimmer at the school and beat all of boys in the school cross country race also. I competed in triathlon for 11 years, 5 of which was at an Elite level. In 2016 became the 16-25 Age group Sprint National Champ.
I don’t consider myself naturally gifted at sport, just stubborn and competitive and so the endurance element suit me. I can’t really imagine my life without sport, its taken up my evening and weekends my whole life- What do people even do with their free time?!
I began Crit racing in April last year as a supplement to my triathlon pre-season. Instead I fell in love with the speed, tactics and thrill of cycling. I was soon picked up by a team and began racing in the British National series and tour series- I’ve not looked back since!
The day job
I graduated in July 2016 with a first class honours degree in Sport Management from Manchester Metropolitan. From contacts I made during my placement year I’ve spent the past year working for a number of organisations on a freelance or contractual basis. This level of flexibility is so important to me.
It enables me to pursue a career in cycling whilst also making a living working on project I’m passionate about. My current project is Let’s Ride Pop Up. It’s a British Cycling initiative designed to showcase Manchester’s accessible bike routes and the British cycling’s services such as the Go rides and Breeze rides.
“Need I say the clothing is so lovely? It’s a great cut and made with soft, comfortable material” – Alice on ZAAZEE
Getting into fitness
I’m lucky to have a mum who took me and my sister to every sports club imaginable. We had a different club every night of the week; football, gymnastics, tap dancing, swimming even joined a roller skating club! I soon stopped this once it was clear my sister was far more talented at it than me, she actually went on represent GB multiple times in Roller Hockey!
The triathlon bug
I joined my local club after lots of my friends from swimming had started going along. I competed in my first race aged 11 and loved it! The bike is my favourite part which is why I’ve pursued cycling. The run was my least. I’m just not built for it.
I’ve never motivated by a sports stars. It wasn’t ‘cool’ when I started so I don’t remember knowing of any ‘famous’ triathletes. Even now though I’m not inspired by anyone, i just do sport because i love it.
I’d love to pursue a career in cycling and see how far I can take it!
Depending on the time of the race I’ll either eat porridge with berries and seeds with a coffee or a Tupperware of pasta/rice with pesto and chicken. I don’t like to race on a full stomach, so eat this two to three hours before racing. An hour before I’ll have a naked bar and plenty of water.
I tested a pair of leggings for my line manager’s junior netball team. I loved the leggings, which I’d worn for my circuit class so instead of just sharing with my boss I sent my gushing feedback to Debz!
I love ZAAZEE is British and based in Manchester. They’re heavily involved in the Manchester fitness community and in touch with their clients’ needs. Need I say the clothing is so lovely? It’s a great cut and made with soft, comfortable material.
I actually hate doing nothing, so an easy spin to the cafe for coffee and cake. Or trip to a nice restaurant…. so basically anything involving eating.
I’d encourage everyone this summer to try something new, a taster session at the velodrome, a yoga class in park or a swim in Salford quays U-swim Doc. Although I’m super competitive sport isn’t about being the best, it’s about making you feel good inside and out! Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and remember that everyone was a beginner once.
Thank you for reading!