My name is Toni Mould, and I am a South African para-cyclist.
I started para-cycling in 2015, when I took part in my first South African Cycling Championships. Since then I have competed in four National Championships and winning eight national titles.
I have also competed in two World Cups that were held in South Africa during 2015 and 2016.
In 2016 I won the overall World Cup for the T1 class, and 2017 saw me win my first international medal at World Championships, in Pietermarizburg.
This year, although being named as part of the team for the three World Cups and the World Championships, I could only attend the World Championships in Italy, due to a lack of funding. I finished fourth in both my races.
Watch via Youtube.com: Toni Mould’s Paracycling time trial in Pietermaritzburg, 2015:
Insert: Toni Mould is co-founder of the NPO Bridging Abilities with Dr Candace Vermaak, an organisation focussed on disabled learners from disadvantaged backgrounds with participants living with range of disabilities, including spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, amputations, cerebral palsy, visual impairments and the legally blind, and drawn from schools and centres surrounding Cape Town.
Bridging Abilities offers sports and recreation day functions for the children, and they participate in activities such as sitting volley ball, blind futsal, boccia (a game similar to bowls specifically designed for athletes with a disability affecting locomotor function such as cerebral palsy) and various recreational games such as fun relays are played during the course of the day.
A lunch pack is given to each participant before they leave to go home.
With sports days and camps for children with disabilities being rare within the South African communities, these events serve as a means for the organisers to get to know the individuals and communities they aim to serve, in order to build a relationship with them, and gain their trust.
The organisers invite a range of contributions, from sponsoring a child, to donating clothes and equipment, to offering voluntary services to the campaign, while commercial sponsors are invited to join the existing social investments made by the National Lotteries Commission, MSB Sportswear, Cape Union Mart, The Rachel Swart Fund, NWE Consulting Engineers and Tsitsikamma Crystals.
Read on to learn a little more about Toni Mould:
I am passionate about sport because…
I have always had a passion for sports but never had the opportunities or time to participate. I love being active, challenging myself and believe the participating in sports has many physical, emotional, and social benefits.
I see my disability as…
A daily challenge. I have Cerebral Palsy which affects all my muscle movements including my coordination, balance and speech. Basically everything I do is affected by my disability. I am a very determined person and have learnt to just persevere through my challenges.
My career highlights so far have been…
My cycling career highlights so far are definitely winning a silver medal at last year’s World Championships and going to cycle in Italy.
The biggest lesson I have learnt on the journey so far is…
That as a para athlete you need a good team of people around you and that there is not much support for para athletes in South Africa.
I am a Sponsor’s dream because…
I am the only senior woman competing on a tricycle in SA at the moment and probably also in the rest of Africa. I am also well-known in my cycles and even beyond.
I have high morals, am very determined, fun loving and honest.
I also believe in giving back into society, an example being the Non-Profit Company, Bridging Abilities that I started and have run for nine years. I am starting to get into the public speaking arena.
Watch via Youtube.com: Toni’s 2017 cycling year:
If a sponsor came on board, they could assist me…
financially by helping me to get to competitions that are held in Europe and Canada next year. Or by giving me products that I could use such as equipment, gear, or nutrition products. Media sponsors can help me to spread my story.
My hope for women’s sport is…
That it will get the same financial backing, exposure and sponsorships as the men.
My advice to women in sport is…
Stick with it. If it is your passion and you enjoy it, don’t let anyone tell you that you cant.
My greatest ambition is…
To live a life I can be proud of at the end of it, and to make life easier for other people with disabilities who still have to follow, by bringing greater awareness around disabilities and the abilities of people with disabilities.
Photo 1 caption: SA and international Para-Cycling athlete Toni Mould tells her story as a South African woman athlete. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 caption: As a solidarity with her display of sporting fortitude in the face of daunting adversary, and probably also in recognition of the remarkable personal contributions she makes to the community, Mould is gaining a lot of media coverage of her accomplishments. Photo: Supplied
Photo 3 caption: A champion of South African children living with disability, Toni Mould founded an NPO called Bridging Abilities with Dr Candace Vermaak, to provide free sports and recreation events to kids around Cape Town. Photo: Supplied
Photo 4 caption: Toni Mould pictured alongside winners on stage at the Maties Centennial Sports Awards, in the Stellenbosch Town Hall in October, 2018. Photo: Supplied
With editing by gsport