Help fund the 1st female cycling team/school in Argentina
Organized by: Suzy Arquez
Hi, My name is Suzy and I'm from South Carolina. I live part time in the north of Argentina where my husband is from. It is the poorest area in Argentina. Many of the young girls and women have very few opportunities to better their lives. They are in a vicious cycle that seems almost impossible to get out of. Most end up pregnant before they turn 13. I started mountain biking several years ago and about one year ago a light bulb went off in my head. I figured out a way I could make a difference in these young girls lives. I would start the first female mtb team in Argentina. It would give these girls a real chance to better their lives. I talked to my trainer about starting a team here and he said he would help and train the girls for free. I chose the name Team Femme hoping to give mtb a feminine touch. It is seen as very masculine here and I wanted to educate everyone here that mtb is for all types of women all shapes and sizes. I found some sponsors but it was not enough to cover cost so I payed for most everything myself. We chose 7 girls including myself to ride on the team. Most of the girls are racing on recycled bikes that their fathers have put together for them. I loaned my bike to one of our girls for panamericana a few months ago and she came in 2nd place. She told me she felt like she was flying. You can't Imagine how heavy her Bike is. She actually went to the junior olimpics in China a few years ago but after that no one continued to help her. Team Femme is the first profesional female mtb team in Argentina and because of it's extreme popularity all over South America it has now become popular worldwide. I have realized that there is a lot more I can do to help. I have decided to start a Team Femme School all across Argentina in 2017. This could help hundreds of girls get off the streets maybe even more. By teaching a woman to ride a bike they feel empowered and it gives them a sense of independence. I will continue with the pro team in 2017 and feel that this really gives these girls an opportunity in life as well as it's opening doors to many other women in the country. They will be racing internationally in 2017 and if enough money is raised some will even go to the world championship in Spain. The money I am hoping to raise will not only help open the Team Femme biking school all across Argentina but it will also fund Team Femme and help them with their traveling and racing cost. We are also hoping to be able to purchase 2 bikes for two of the pros on the team who are still riding on recycled bikes. To be honest anything will help. When the girls first started with me 1 of them was taping her shoes to her pedals and another was using masking tape to keep her shoes from falling apart. I believe with all my heart that biking can open doors for these women. I also believe we are brought into people's lives for a reason. Thank you for taking the time to read this. .