Beth Shriever: BMX rider turns to crowdfunding in 2020 Olympics bid

Beth Shriever before a BMX race
Beth Shriever finished 17th at the World Championships in Azerbaijan last year

British BMX rider Beth Shriever says it is "worrying" she needs to crowdfund £50,000 in a bid to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The 19-year-old from Essex does not receive funding from UK Sport.

"My rivals who are all around the world are doing this full time and are funded, so I'm the only one who's not really getting much help," she said.

"It is worrying and I don't want my dream to compete at Tokyo to be taken away just because of money."

Shriever, the 2017 Junior World Champion, is seen as the standard-bearer of British BMX following the retirements of former world champions Shanaze Reade and Liam Phillips.

However, no British rider has won an Olympic BMX medal and UK Sport stipulated in its funding review after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games that only male riders would be supported heading towards Tokyo 2020.

Shriever needs funds to help her meet costs for travel and accommodation as she travels across the world in a bid to qualify for the Olympics.

"We did the sums and worked out how much it would cost for this season and to get to the Olympics and it was just way out of our budget of what we had in mind," she told BBC Essex.

"The amount of racing I'm going do this year is the most I've ever done. I'm going to places like Argentina, Tokyo and America, so it's massive trips

"It's quite expensive so this is a way to earn some more money and put it towards my racing."

British Cycling have supported Shriever at some events, but are not able to fund all her trips which are required in her attempt to reach Tokyo.

Shriever finished 17th in her maiden appearance as a senior at the World Championships in Baku last year, and works part-time as a teaching assistant in a nursery to cover some of her costs of training and travelling.

"It has been hard but we have been getting through it," she added.

"I have had help from family friends, my mum and dad and I am working as well to support my racing.

"The potential is there for me. People know I can do it and I believe I can do it.

"We don't want this money to be a factor. We want to get it out there and people to know that I am struggling and need help.

"There is a club up north that are going to do a fundraiser for me and my primary school is going to do a fundraiser.

"We are hoping to get a bit of money and every little helps. Fingers crossed we can get to Tokyo."

What does it take to be a BMX racer?

Interview with Beth Shriever by BBC Essex's Victoria Polley.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC