Sarah Hill, a true trailblazer in the cycling world, exemplifies grit, determination, and unwavering passion. Her remarkable story is a testament to the transformative power of cycling, inspiring cyclists around the globe.
From the beginning, Hill’s cycling journey was marked by audacity and an insatiable hunger for new challenges. Fearlessly transitioning from other sports, she recognized her untapped potential and ventured into uncharted territory, defying expectations and proving that greatness knows no bounds.
As a young athlete, Hill displayed exceptional skill and enthusiasm in netball and athletics, finding immense satisfaction in being part of a team and constantly pushing her boundaries. However, she yearned for a sport to test her physical and mental limits.
“It sounds really weird, but I wanted to be broken at the end of my practices,” Hill said to ProTouch Africa.
Discovering rowing as a summer sport to complement her winter activities in netball, Sarah was impacted by the discipline and teamwork required, particularly in the doubles category. Though she briefly considered pursuing rowing at a high level, her coach saw a different potential in her.
Her father suggested cycling as an alternative, an idea she initially dismissed as absurd. Little did she know that this seemingly unconventional suggestion would ultimately alter the course of her life.
“He (Hill’s Father) said to me, what if you tried cycling, and I totally rolled my eyes at him, and I said, Dad, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Her initial experiences in road races and mountain biking left her disheartened. “I think my first ride was the 94.7, and I hated it. I did the Argus, and I hated it.”
Despite her initial reservations about cycling, she pursued it further during her gap year. Applying to some of the best mountain biking schools in the US, Hill’s passion and determination earned her a place in a prestigious Division One cycling school. This opportunity allowed her to hone her skills and explore various disciplines within the sport.
“I managed to get myself into a division one cycling school with incredible motivation and passion for the sport. I said to them, if you can mould me into one of the best mountain bikers in the world, I will not disappoint you.”
Equipped with a master’s degree in sports and performance psychology, she developed a deep passion for helping athletes overcome mental barriers. Hill believes that persistence and resilience require practice and patience, acknowledging that setbacks and challenges are integral to the journey. She emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and choosing constructive responses to overcome mental hurdles.
“In sports, you’ve got to lose more than you win. So, you can learn.”
Hill’s dedication to cycling extends beyond her achievements. As a UCI-certified cycling coach, co-owner of Threshold Coaching, and a performance consultant, she utilizes her expertise to create individualized training plans and support athletes in reaching their full potential. Additionally, as a PMBIA level two mountain bike skills instructor, she focuses on empowering women and developing solid mental training tools that enhance performance.
“I love to work with women. So, one of my favourite things in my little niche is that if you’re a female wanting to be coached by me, often the answer is yes, I’ll take you on board.”
Hill ascended to the pinnacle of the cycling world through her unwavering commitment to personal growth. Her discipline, dedication, and countless hours of training enabled her to achieve remarkable milestones and compete globally. She became a force to be reckoned with, inspiring wonder in her fellow cyclists and earning the respect of the cycling community.
However, Hill’s impact extends far beyond her achievements. She generously shares her wisdom and experiences as a leader and mentor, nurturing the next generation of cyclists. Hill empowers others to overcome challenges through her coaching, offering invaluable guidance and support. She recognizes the significance of fostering a community of cyclists who uplift and inspire one another.
“Developing emotional intelligence by understanding what you are feeling in that moment gives you the awareness and the power to change that because what we feel is a choice.”
Furthermore, Hill’s journey has led her to explore the realms of sports psychology, acknowledging the importance of mental fortitude in cycling. Her expertise in this field enables her to help fellow riders navigate the mental barriers often accompanying physical challenges. Hill firmly believes that cultivating a resilient mindset and harnessing the power of self-belief are the keys to unlocking one’s full potential.
Beyond her personal achievements and coaching endeavours, Hill continues to leave a lasting impact on the cycling world. She actively promotes inclusivity and diversity within the sport, striving to create a welcoming environment for cyclists of all backgrounds and abilities.
Hill’s journey embodies the essence of cycling as a transformative force. Her resilience, perseverance, and unwavering passion ignite a flame of inspiration within every cyclist who hears her story.
“So, for beginners, enjoy the process of getting fit, and enjoy the challenge of learning a new skill.”
“The World Championships is my first international MTB race since 2021; I’ll be representing South Africa which is really exciting. The Spar Swiss Epic is another first for me and an opportunity to continue pursuing the Epic Legend Status.”
AMG is a sports agency powered by purpose-driven elite athletes. Their mission is to help athletes thrive & businesses grow – inside & out. AMG has recently partnered with ProTouch Africa to support African athletes like pro cyclist Sarah Hill with their personal brand strategy, media profile & commercial partnerships.
ABOUT PROTOUCH AFRICA
PROTOUCH AFRICA is a purpose-driven and for-profit Sports Tech, business founded in 2016 with the purpose to enable African Athletes to perform on the World Stage. It is pioneering new ways for fans to interact and engage with their favourite teams, leagues and athletes and enable alternative revenue streams.
ProTouch Africa’s Podium Pursuit Project is focused on creating a transparent and sustainable funding mechanism for the next generation of African Athletes. Its vision is to launch the World’s first fan-owned impact investment platform for African Athletes, by assembling an ecosystem of top-performing athletes, their fans and the brands that support them.