The Cyclists’ Alliance Mentorship Program (TCAMP) is an innovative structured program run by ex-professional cyclists Roos Hoogeboom & Gracie Elvin.
The final webinar was a great opportunity to review and reflect ahead of launching the 2022 TCAMP program. Read on to learn more about Gracie & Roos experience.
While TCAMP began later than originally planned in May, we packed a lot of punch into a short year. From matching up mentors to mentees, to providing webinars, resources, workshops, and extra support to pairs, it was a highly successful year for the updated program.
Pairing the Mentors and Mentees
In May the TCA had a challenging process of matching 32 riders into 16 pairs. The application process gave insights into the needs of each rider, as well as illustrate the demand for a wider range of support for riders in the women's peloton. Once pairing was complete, we were able to introduce the participants to TCAMP and advise them on how to get the most out of it. The goal of ‘TCAMP’ is to develop and support riders and create sustainable change within the sport.
The biggest event for TCAMP in 2021 was the Podium Partner workshop series. Run over three days, our 5 Podium Partners (Specialized, Trek, Liv, SRAM, Cannondale) gave invaluable workshops about selling your story, self-advocacy, networking, building your CV, as well as some very interesting panel discussions and insights into these top industry brands. The interest in these workshops was high, and feedback from participants was very positive.
A key focus of TCAMP is to strengthen the existing peloton, in order that riders learn how to better navigate challenges, develop leadership skills and share & retain knowledge. For assistance with this aspect of the programme we are grateful to Michael Inglis from The Mindroom, a long time TCA supporter, to offer his time to give a fantastic webinar on "How to Mentor", and this session was also valuable to our mentees. Michael's colleague Jack Hudson-Williams also gave an insightful and helpful webinar on "Managing Emotions" later in the year.
Another resource that many riders found interesting and valuable was "Personality Testing" with Cynthia Dassen from Paratam, where participants had the opportunity to learn more about themselves and have time to discuss it with Cynthia. Getting to know oneself better helps all other relationships and we thought this was a great way for TCAMP members to build that understanding to help in their mentor/mentee relationship as well as within their teams.
Another long-time TCA supporter Emma Wade of "bespoke M" gave a webinar on rights and expectations of being a pro, personal branding, and what it's like to be an agent. There were so many great takeaways from this presentation for riders wanting to know about contracts, media, and a possible career pathway in athlete management.
We are incredibly thankful for all the support shown from the above-mentioned contributors and Podium Partners, as well as the riders involved in this program. It is this collaboration which has made it a great success! We look forward to what 2022 will bring, as the TCA deepens its mentoring capacity and works with Podium Partners to provide practical work experience to ex-riders, a game changing innovation from the brands and the TCA for women in sport.
"We believe that supporting our participants and, in turn, them supporting each other would create a stronger and a more sustainable environment. With this in mind the TCA created a structured mentor program to provide insights and skills riders can use in their cycling career and beyond. For me personally it has been a great learning experience, I enjoyed working alongside Gracie and the Podium Partners and to connect with all participants. The participants have devoted their time and energy to get the most out of it and it is great to know they give back to each other and express their thankfulness to us and each other for all experiences and materials delivered and shared during this year. I look forward to continuing and improving the program for 2022."Roos Hoogeboom
"It was a very fulfilling experience to create a new version of TCAMP with my colleague Roos and with a lot of help from our amazing TCA staff. For me personally, it gave me a feeling of connection to cycling after my retirement from racing and it was exciting to see it evolve from plans on paper to seeing the outcomes of the Podium Partner workshops. I'm very grateful to everyone who has supported this program and their vision to create an environment for female cyclists to thrive and pathways for them to remain the sport after they finish racing. I hope that our participants are happy with their experience and want to continue in their journey with TCAMP, and I am looking forward to welcoming some new faces and new ideas in 2022."Gracie Elvin