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Aneela McKenna - Diversity, Inclusion and Well-being manager, MTB Guide and Coach, Go Where Scotland


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Aneela is passionate about encouraging people from all walks of life to ride bikes and she works with individuals, organisations and the cycling industry to encourage wider participation. She works tirelessly to increase diversity in cycling and mountain biking and firmly believes that mountain biking is more than a sport - she’s a champion of the wider benefits of mountain biking in building confidence, strength and resilience in everyday life.

With 20 years+ diversity and inclusion experience, Aneela is particularly interested in diversity and wellbeing; women in MTB leadership; diversity role models; young girls in sport and promoting mental health. She offers training and workshops; inspiring talks and presentations; diversity audits; participation and engagement activities as well as professional advice and consultancy.

ANEELA'S JOURNEY

  • 20 years+ Diversity and Inclusion experience in the public sector

  • Co-Chair, British Cycling’s new Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group

  • 10 years+ running Go-Where Scotland

  • 5+ years professional MBL/Level 3 mountain bike guide

  • Board Member and Secretary of Tweed Valley Trails Association

  • Cycling UK Trail Inspector, and, Trail Maintenance Coordinator

  • Cycling UK Outdoor Expedition qualification

  • Masters Degree, Equality and Discrimination, University of Strathclyde

  • Personal Fitness Trainer

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Listen to Aneela Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Aneela

  • Her early years

  • Growing up in Glasgow

  • How her parents moved over from Pakistan

  • Visiting Pakistan

  • Her dreams as a little girl

  • Getting into mountain biking

  • Pivotal moments from being on the mountain bike

  • Taking friends out on the bike

  • Her journey of becoming a coach and leader

  • Giving people the opportunity to empower themselves

  • Not having a great experience in childhood

  • Being the only women during the assessment and training

  • Being worried about being the only woman

  • Being supported by her husband

  • Lost opportunities

  • Having to have faith in herself

  • Battling again self doubt

  • Being encouraged by her tutor

  • Having to prove herself in a male environment

  • Changes in the mountain biking industry over the past 10 years

  • Creating empowering spaces

  • Encouraging women to take the next step

  • The lack of role models and how it is chaining slowly

  • Encouraging women to become coaches

  • Being inspired by her friends

  • The FNY Collective and what it stands for…

  • What the word fanny means in Scotland

  • Getting charity status and being able to look for funding

  • How many bikes…

  • Being an ambassador for Juliana Bicycles

  • The power of bikes

  • Working to support refugees

  • Working with Endura Sport