Twenty-year-old downhill mountain biker Cassie Voysey has bold hopes for her future in the sport, and a new scholarship from Royal Wolf is helping her achieve her sporting goals.
Hailing from Engadine in southern Sydney, Cassie has been named one of two first-ever recipients of the Royal Wolf Family Sports and Arts Scholarship.
A supreme talent who was tipped to earn the No. 1 junior world ranking in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to COVID, Voysey has now transitioned into the Elite category, racing against seasoned adult riders.
She’s travelled around the world, including to France, New Zealand and, most recently, Canada to compete, with a full World Cup season costing approximately $50,000, including travel, accommodation and entry fees.
That’s why Cassie, the sister of Royal Wolf Hiring Consultant Jake Voysey, has been awarded the Royal Wolf Family Sports and Arts Scholarship. Open to children and siblings of Royal Wolf employees, the scholarship provides recipients with $5000 to put towards following their dreams.
“It’s surreal. It’s great to have their help because my sport is pretty expensive, so to be given a grant of $5000 is a massive help towards my racing this year,” Voysey says.
“It’s good to have companies come on board and help us live our dream.”
Royal Wolf Managing Director Neil Littlewood hopes the scholarship will help pave the way for recipients to achieve their athletic or artistic goals.
“We’re committed to giving back to the people that make Royal Wolf the wonderful place it is, and to extend part of our Employee Benefits Program to the families of our staff is something we’re really proud of,” says Neil.
“We hope the $5000 grant will assist Cassie and future recipients in pursuing their dreams.”
GETTING RESULTS ON THE WORLD STAGE
Voysey competes in timed races where competitors start at the top of a steep hill and ride downhill on rough terrain that usually includes rocks, drops, jumps and other obstacles. The fastest rider to complete the course wins.
“It’s a good adrenaline rush that’s for sure,” she says.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on the opportunity to compete in 2020, Cassie made up for the lost time last year - her first season racing as an Elite.
Exceeding even her own expectations, Voysey won the SEQ DH Series Round 4 in Toowoomba before being the runner-up at the Australian National Championships in Tasmania. She also came third at the Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships qualifier and placed in the top 10 in races at Crankworx Rotorua and in the Crankworx Summer Series.
“(The results) are pretty good,” she says humbly.
“It’s a huge jump, especially because I missed out on my last year of juniors. So it’s pretty challenging. There’s usually about 30-40 (competitors).”
Since receiving her scholarship, Cassie has recorded her best-ever result - qualifying for the World Cup while racing in Canada. She is also set to compete at the World Championships in France.
FROM SOCCER AND OZTAG TO DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE RACING
Voysey’s journey had a modest beginning. It all started in 2014 at Heathcote High School.
“I’d played soccer and OzTag growing up, so I thought I’d give something different a go - I thought I was going to play rugby league,” she recalls. “But I did mountain biking because it was something different and an individual sport, which is what I like.
“The (school) mountain biking team goes to Thredbo every year to compete in an event called Interschools, and I thought it was going to be a once-off but I just loved it.
“I pretty much went from that to state titles, national titles, and now I’m competing in the world titles, so it’s pretty much all thanks to my school.”
Cassie loves the thrill of riding and has a big support crew behind her to keep her confidence up.
“You’re always bound to crash because you’re pushing your limits,” she says.
“It’s not easy but with the right people behind you it makes it easier. You want to get to the bottom without crashing … so you’ve got to be in the right headspace, and people that help with that are your coaches, your family and your support team.”
OLYMPIC DREAM IN HER SIGHTS
Cassie looks up to Olympian and eight-time BMX and Mountain Bike World Champion Caroline Buchanan, who she is now learning from, and hopes to one day follow in her footsteps by competing at the Olympics.
“I’ve been learning heaps from her lately and it’s good that she’s pushing me to become an amazing athlete like her,” she says.
“When the Olympics come to Brisbane soon, I’ve heard rumours downhill will be there. 100 per cent I’d want to compete.”
The Family Sports and Arts Scholarship supports talented family members of Royal Wolf employees. Part of the Royal Wolf Employee Benefits Program, the scholarship is open to the children or siblings of employees, with recipients being awarded $5000 to put towards the pursuit of their dreams.