Big dreams for young promising cyclist

Michaela Maneville

A podium finish at the Tour
de France is the ultimate dream for 20-year-old
Michaela Maneville.
The Grade 12 pupil is a member of The Sports Trust’s Schools
Development Cycling Programme
at Scottsville High School. 

Michaela says cycling has been
an integral part of her life.
She is the only girl on the
school’s cycling team and hopes to
inspire other girls in her community to take up the sport.
Earlier this month she celebrated her birthday with a friendly
team race with cyclists from around
Kraaifontein. 
Michaela says her team pushes
her to work hard every day, as she
wants to become a top-anked rider
in the world. 
She believes that with the help
of the right people she can realise
her dream of lining up at the prestigious race in France. 
“The fact that I am a girl cycling
means I have a point to prove –
that girls can also do what the boys
can do,” she says. 
Michaela says the cycling bug
bit her when a couple of her
friends at school were preparing
to go to training. Their excitement
pumped her adrenaline.
She didn’t have a bike at the
time. And, it would take her six
months to get a donation for a
bike. 
Michaela says her family and
teammates are her biggest supporters. 
“The highlight of my cycling was
making my mommy proud. The
places I have been to, the podium
stands and the people I have met,
have been amazing. It improved
my confidence and my ability,”
she says. 
Michaela trains four days a
week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays.
During the week, after school,
it’s physical and short distance
training. Her example of short
distance training is 50km to 60km. 
And, on Saturday, at 5am, she and
her teammates from Kraaifontein
cycle 104km and more. 
“Other girls get demotivated
because the guys are always fast, so
you are always under pressure as a
girl. But they push us to be at our
best,” she says.
Michaela says in the next five
years her ambitions are to go professional while making a name for
herself. 
“If someone out there can give
me an extra hand and help, I can
become a successful, hard-working
cyclist. I’ve worked so hard and I
want to be remembered as one of
the girls to wear the yellow jerseys
at the Tour de France,” she says. 
Michaela says she looks up to
her teacher, Frank Fortuin, an avid
cyclist.
Fortuin says Michaela is a disciplined, hard-working pupil and a
role model to other pupils. 
“She always gives her best.
Despite many challenges, she is
still focused on making a success of
life. I salute her for that.”
Fortuin says she also applies the
same discipline and commitment
to her cycling.
“She is the only female rider
in the group but she is not intimidated by that. She can also give the
boys some competition on the road
at times.
“I am very proud of Michaela
as a representative of The Sports
Trust cycling group. She is a real
lady and determined to make a
success of her life,” says Fortuin.