Athlete in Action: Sara Mills

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An athlete in action is inspiring and wonderful to witness as it is very evident that they have found their place in life, their goal to strive for and when found in someone young its hard not to want to be apart of.  Sara Mills who will be turning 18 around the time this was photographed is one these people recently picked up by sponsors Jetblack Products and BH Bikes Australia, she knows what she wants and she is going after it.

I met Sara on the trails shooting events about two years ago and since then always had time to say a quick hello before race start and wish her well, she has always been up beat and positive.  So when she announced her sponsorship I thought it would be a great opportunity to get together and shoot some images to help promote herself and learn a little more about her.  Sara comes from a solid background in cycling with her mother being a former XC national champion of South Africa  where Sara was born.   Growing up around bikes and then moving to Australia gave the opportunity for Sara to really find her identity and in doing so won the 2014 Convict 100 50km overall winner, NSW U19 hill climb and road champion has been selected for the Australian national MTB development team.   Clear indicators that this is an athlete who has found her zone and is someone to watch even as she takes to the road as she will at the 2015 Santos Womens Tour in Adelaide.

Sara lives on the northern outskirts of Sydney where she is no stranger to both Bobbin head while road riding and honing her off-road skills at Hornsby MTB trails.  Again for this project I am wanting to try different ideas, different equipment that is not possible during sports events.

Bobbin Head is a location where Sara would normally be found with heart pounding and legs burning with lactate but on this day the peaceful surrounds was a good opportunity to reflect on sport, the athlete and her goals while shooting portraits.  At Hornsby MTB trails or OMV (Old Mans Valley) as it more commonly known Sara had some input into images she wanted imitating her sporting heroes with again a more casual environmental portraits the focus.  Of course, we did a few action shots as no photo shoot would be complete unless we got a little sweat going, something I even got to do after the shoot putting in some laps on the incredibly fun trails at OMV.

A big thanks to Sara who showed her true champion attitude and patience during the shoot as it was a very hot day, I wish you all the best in the future and look forward to being there to capture your success along the way.

Gil.