A CYCLIST who is gearing up for the Olympics has been inspired by messages of support from the public.

Shanaze Reade, who started cycling at Tipkinder Park, in Crewe, said postcards sent as part of a campaign by Cadbury were helping her into the home straight of her training.

“As we get nearer to the summer, my training regime gets really tough,” said Shanaze, 23.

“In the most difficult times, the boost of knowing people are rooting for me really helps to keep me motivated.

“I’ve been reading and replying to some of the messages and it means so much to know people have taken the time to show their support.”

The Cadbury’s Postcards campaign is designed to rally the public behind British athletes. It is the first time fans have been able to contact Olympians directly.

Among those competing in London will be former Crewe resident Shanaze who was mentored by local track operator Bob Field and influenced by BMX professional race Jamie Staff who was also from Crewe.

This week she told the Guardian how she was instantly hooked on BMXing after being a sporty child with a love of sprinting.

“I would put a bag on my back and ride to Tipkinder Park straight from home.

“I would have half-an-hour’s daylight left,” said Shanaze, who bought her first BMX for £1.

“I put in as much effort as possible in that short time. They named the track after me a few years ago which was an amazing honour.”

Four years ago in Beijing, Shanaze’s Olympic dream finished in dramatic fashion as she crashed out of the BMX final.

However, her determination will see her go for gold when the Olympics start this summer.

This week she said that discovering the sport in Crewe had given her direction in life.

“The sense of community I used to get was incredible and for a young girl at the point in your life when you can easily become distracted by other, less positive, things it was a great feeling of belonging,” she said.

“I would recommend joining a sports club to any young person, it can really change your life.”

To find out more about the Cadbury campaign go to cadburypostcards2012.co.uk