Life after sport is always a touchy subject when it comes to professional athletes, however it is something that every athlete needs to think about at some point…
The older you get the more you start to realise that racing is not the be all and end all of life. The reality is that at some point every athlete will need to take a step back from competition. This does not mean that anything has changed in terms of desire and work ethic, it is just the reality of the situation. As for me personally I feel that I still have many great years ahead of me, however I am always on the look out for opportunities after racing, whether it be in or out of the industry. I love the mountain bike scene and it would be awesome to stay involved on some level after my career.
Recently a very good opportunity has presented itself in the name of ACE SPORTS DISTRIBUTION. This is a very young brand that is growing at a rapid pace. The company was founded by Adrian De Hutton and Anthony Raynard who have been heavily involved in the motocross scene for many years. Anthony is also still competing at the top level and in 2012 he secured a national championship title. It was passion for the industry that inspired the two to start Ace Sports late in 2014. It is a distribution as well as an online store which up until recently has focused on the off road motorcycle market. However, the company has now grown to the point where they are keen to expand and make a push into the cycling market.
This is where I come in, Adrian and I started chatting about my life after racing and the fact that Ace is going to make a push into the cycling side of things. The timing is just spot on and I think that me joining the Ace team will only be a positive in all aspects. Obviously for me my racing is still my number one priority at this point but I think getting involved at this stage will be a benefit in the long run. My connection to the cycling industry and brands will be a great way to get things going. To kick things off we are focusing on one of my current sponsors, REVERSE COMPONENTS. I have been running the products for the past 4 years and really believe 100% in the products which is crucial when trying to sell anything.
We already have our first shipment in stock so stay tuned to see when it hits the shelves! Now my role in the company still needs to be discussed and it will be a bit of a juggling act between racing and work. It will definitely need to be mainly online as I will be away for 5 months a year racing!
Coming back to life after racing, this is definitely something that can have a big effect on any athlete in whichever sport they are in and it can create added pressure to perform and prolong their career. However for me I don’t think it should be seen as a negative aspect but rather just a new chapter in life and something of excitement!
Oh and don’t think that I am over racing or anything of the sort, things have been a bit quiet on the racing side recently. BUT, not to worry because in 2 weeks I fly to Europe and the real action begins. I am more motivated than I have ever been to go racing and have my best season ever. I have a great group of people and brands around me and I am ready to make things happen. First race is World Cup round 1 in Lourdes, France on the 27th-30th of April, Stay tuned!
Until next time…
Written by Stefan Garlicki.