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Holly Archer has elite athletics targets in sight after support from Cycle Pharmaceuticals

C&C athlete Holly Archer. Picture: Richard Marsham
C&C athlete Holly Archer. Picture: Richard Marsham

Holly Archer faced an almost impossible decision – chasing her athletics dreams or pursuing professional ambitions.

The 25-year-old Cambridge & Coleridge AC member has had a breakthrough year, earning cross-country and road race selections for England, finishing fourth in the 1,500m at the British Championships and taking five seconds off her personal best.

It left Archer with a dilemma as to make the breakthrough to the next level, and bid for Great Britain selection, she knew that training at altitude was to be crucial.

As a global marketing associate at Cycle Pharmaceuticals, the likely outcome was having to take a sabbatical from her career in order to do so.

It would have meant heading into the unknown and something of a gamble, but the company has jumped to support their employee’s sporting talent.

Life as an unfunded athlete is hard going, but Cycle Pharmaceuticals will allow Archer to work remotely in order go training overseas at altitude and also provide sponsorship, enabling her to pursue both sporting and professional hopes.

“Holly can do both, and we don’t see why she shouldn’t be supported to do both – so to grow as a professional inside the company and work remotely when training at altitude,” said Cycle Pharmaceuticals CEO Antonio Benedetti.

“Holly is a great employee – more than that, she is part of the team. She believes in what she is doing, she believes in what Cycle is doing and that’s what makes the difference.

“We said ‘why don’t we do this thing together so that you don’t lose your grip on your professional growth inside the company’ because she has great potential.

“We will be there cheering and shouting because we want her to win.”

C&C athlete Holly Archer at Cycle Pharmaceuticals. Picture: Richard Marsham
C&C athlete Holly Archer at Cycle Pharmaceuticals. Picture: Richard Marsham

It is a big year ahead for Archer, with plenty of targets in the pipeline in 2020.

There is the World Indoor Championships in China, the European Championships in Paris, the Tokyo Olympics and, further ahead, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

“I’m very lucky to have a company that is willing to let me live my dream outside of work,” said Archer.

“It’s a big commitment that I need to make, but I’m in a position where I can balance both which will enable me to still do my job and chase my dream.

“I’ve got some big goals next year, and they will back me to see what I can do.”

She added: “They don’t want to just allow me to work remotely, they want to support me and be part of my journey.”

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