Second year Occupational Therapist student, Nicola qualified to compete in the championships in Alcobendas, Spain but faced the additional funding challenge of getting herself and her bike to Spain, along with essential kit, maintenance and training. That was when the university offered for her to attend one of their Crowdfunder workshops, where Nicola learned more about how Plymouth University and Crowdfunder work together to crowdfund projects.
“I didn’t know what crowdfunding was but I thought I’d go along to find out, and I spoke to the Crowdfunder-in-Residence on the Plymouth campus,” said Nicola.
Although initially unaware of how crowdfunding could help, attending another workshop and speaking to more people about her campaign meant Nicola could see she had the potential to succeed and set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds.
After crowdfunding £500 in just 12 hours, Nicola’s campaign which is still live, has already raised £1,022 – more than twice her original target and enough to pay for her airfare to compete at the Championships as well as covering the cost of transporting her bike safely to Spain.
Heather Forster, Plymouth University Crowdfunder-in-Residence, said: “The workshops have been well received at the University by both staff and students, and this is an example of how they, and the wider public can benefit. Crowdfunding is available to everyone in the community and provides an opportunity to raise funds for almost anything.”
The money Nicola has raised will also allow her to have her bike serviced and upgrade parts to make sure it’s ready for the race, purchase triathlon kit and pay for membership of the Plymouth Triathlon Club to get the training support she needs. In addition, Nicola will now be able to pay the entrance fee for the qualification race for the World Championships.
Along with the support and advice she had from her crowdfunding mentor at Plymouth University, Nicola says the strong social network she has built up in the local sporting community and the support from the University has helped make her campaign a success.
Nicola added: “Thanks to the support of the crowd I will be representing Great Britain at the European Championships in April so a massive thank you to everyone.”