Accomplished International Para Athlete Toni Mould has Fundraising Advice for Athletes

With 2024 being a year where the Olympics and Paralympics will be staged, athletes on the local front as well as those across the globe are busy trying to ensure they will be at the the pinnacle event of their sport. For veteran para-cyclist Toni Mould that’s no different. Photo: All Photos Supplied

With 2024 being a year when the Olympics and Paralympics will be staged, athletes on the local front as well as those across the globe are busy trying to ensure they will be at the the pinnacle event of their sport, it’s no different for veteran para-cyclist, Toni Mould.

Mould – who has cerebral palsy that affects her balance, speech, and motor skills – is no stranger to getting herself to events. Having competed in five World Cups in nine years, as well as three World Championships to mention a few, it can confidently be said that she is one of the most experienced in the fundraising arena, having had to raise money to aid her in traveling to various competitions for the past decade. 

“It takes a lot from me to keep going. This is my 10th year of competing, and to still be self-funded despite having won things like an overall World Cup, a silver medal at a World Champs, going to a Paralympics, and several other awards, can be disheartening. However, I love racing and bringing awareness of what people with disabilities can do, as well as the health benefits that training has brought to my life, so I just keep on going!”

“So far, most of my funding has been from family and friends through crowdfunding, and one organisation in the USA, but even with, that I still have a big shortfall. So I often think of events like a virtual point A to point B ride, where people can sponsor me per kilometre, or something people can get behind or involved in.”

“This year I have some support from my local gym, Maties Gym in Stellenbosch, so it is very nice and refreshing.”

Internationally-Acclaimed Paracycling Champ, Toni Mould

When it comes to what she feels works best in terms of getting the much-needed cash injection, Mould has shared what has produced successful results for her over the years, and it comes down to being driven in many different facets. 

“Some of my key learnings have been that you need to be proactive and consistent. You need to work hard and respect people’s help, time, and money.”

She says although fundraising has been somewhat of a personal effort, it is heartwarming to see others get involved to help her reach her goal. 

“Most of the fundraisers to date have been my ideas or efforts. I think last month (the Maties Gym Aquathon) was the first time someone else did a fundraiser for me. It was such a great feeling.”

“I work hard, so to have someone step in and say we believe in you and want to help take the financial burden off your shoulders is a wonderful feeling, and makes me want to work harder and achieve greater things for myself but also for them.”

Speaking of goals, Mould is currently preparing for the UCI Road Paracycling World Cups, and if she does get the financial support, she will be racing in Belgium and Italy this May. The event will have a lot riding on it (mind the pun) as it will also be her final chance to qualify for the Paralympics. 

She says with the event getting closer she is starting to feel the pressure when it comes to having the money to travel. 

If you want to donate to Mould’s cause, here’s the link to her Backabuddy page

“It’s happening but slower than I would like. I have the funds for two fundraisers still coming so I don’t quite know how much I still need. I know I don’t have enough yet,” said Mould.

“This week is six weeks before I need to leave, so I need to book flights and so on, so it’s a stressful time. My biggest challenge is that due to my disability, I can’t travel alone so I need to take one or two carers with and that doubles or triples my costs,” said Mould. 

Someone who has been with Mould since her early days as a para-sportswoman is Anet Bosman. The two however don’t see much of each other these days as Bosman has moved to Namibia but are in constant contact and remain the closest of friends. Bosman is a former Brand South Africa Supporter of the Year winner at the 2019 Momentum gsport Awards. Having been part of Mould’s journey, she has some valuable insight into how to fundraise. 

“You need to think about what will inspire people to get involved, and I am going to use an example of what Toni recently did.  She participated in the Cycle Tour and you could join her on her cycle trip or you could sponsor every kilometer she does. It’s important to use current events that are also for the able-bodied but that you can also join, you can then use that to raise funds for your trip. That is a starting point as it’s already an event,” she said.

“Social media is powerful, so use it as much as you can to get people to follow you, to get people aware of the funds you are trying to raise, and just keep people in the loop of how you are doing raising those funds. You need to think out of the box, a lot of people don’t just want to give money but they want to be inspired to give money.”

Mould somewhat echoed this statement and also believes it is important to have consideration for those who are lending a helping hand and remember to pay it forward in the community. 

“My advice would be to work hard, be consistent, and take care of your relationships/network. Respect people, their time, and contributions. You are more likely to get support from your network or their network than strangers. In today’s society, most people are working hard and struggling to make ends meet, so any contribution is a sacrifice. So appreciate every bit of support no matter what it is or how big or small and whenever possible say thank you. Also, find a way to give back to the community you are in – don’t just take.”

She completed the 2024 Cycle Tour over the weekend and feels the ride was vital to her preparations for various reasons and will help with the upcoming events, in what could turn into a rather busy year. Mould still harbours dreams of being at the Paralympics and also wants to fulfil a personal objective.

“I want to attend another Paralympics because Tokyo 2020/21 was so Covid-19 affected that, although I’m very glad I went, I feel like we missed out on a lot. My second ambition is to take one of my current trainers on an overseas sporting trip as my carer because she has had my back for the last few years and made a huge difference in my sporting and personal life.”


Photo caption: With 2024 being a year where the Olympics and Paralympics will be staged, athletes on the local front as well as those across the globe are busy trying to ensure they will be at the the pinnacle event of their sport. For veteran para-cyclist Toni Mould that’s no different. Photo: All Photos Supplied

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