For 2021 we are continuing our support of junior racing with our sponsorship of Team Tofauti. A few words on the cycling team who encapsulate the DNA of Paria.
Tofauti Everyone Active is a junior cycling team which offer a real point of difference to the two wheeled youth scene. They empower junior riders, aged 16-18, to take control of their cycling development, through unrivalled support and teamwork: helping their young riders develop resilience, determination and racing success. This allows the team to showcase their talent on both a national and international platform.
For the 2021 season, the team comprises 8 junior women and 7 junior men, among them 6 current or former national champions in a wide range of cycling disciplines. The team gives many of its riders their first opportunity to race in Europe, where they have an excellent race calendar, including a large number of UCI races – the highest level in the sport at junior level.
Naturally, the female and male riders get equal support through the year, with that backing aiming to retain every rider’s love of the sport – to keep the same enthusiasm and excitement that cycling brought them when they first rode a bike and started to enjoy racing. While primarily a road racing team, riders are encouraged to tackle events outside the traditional road calendar, such as self-guided endurance events and relay events alongside sponsors.
The team takes its name from its charity partner, the Tofauti Foundation, and uses its profile to increase exposure for the Foundation. Established by Crista Cullen MBE, a member of the gold medal-winning GB Hockey team from the Rio Olympics, the Foundation undertakes amazing conservation and community work in Africa. They work with local people to help them sustain a way of life that leverages their relationship with the natural world they live in.
The team’s main commercial sponsor is Everyone Active, who run over 190 leisure and cultural centres across the UK. The longest-established leisure contractor in the UK, Everyone Active’s mission is to encourage everyone to participate in regular physical activity. Through the lockdown challenges of 2020, they have continued this through a wealth of online resources, workouts and advice to keep people fit and healthy.
With 2020 the team’s debut season, it’s been a period of particular challenge, with the season shutting down almost as soon as it started. But from that, the team has found new opportunity. Quickly changing focus, Tofauti Everyone Active were the first people in the world to launch virtual racing for junior riders with their Junior Lockdown Race Series on the virtual platform of partners RGT Cycling. This got an amazing response, with more than 130 top junior riders from across Europe and beyond taking part. Hugely positive feedback from riders all over the world was a welcome highlight in a difficult year.
Where Paria have entered the picture is clearly the bespoke kit. We've worked closely with the design team to ensure the kit has a blend of stand out design, whilst not to F_you that Mum's and Dad's will be taking fingers to keyboards to complain. We are always up for pushing the boundaries, and making sure we do things outside the usual cycling team paradigm - and Tofauti are no different for us.
2021 is a year where the team can hopefully look to get back to some form of normality along with the rest of the globe. Pushing their limits, getting out on the road and generally enjoying themselves training, competing and making some noise