UK, Newcastle Upon TyneSport(s):
Enduro and Downhill Mountain BikingInstagram Handle: @mtb_amelia
What does SheShredsCo mean to you?
Being part of SheShredsCo means I’m supported as a female athlete by a group of women who all have different experiences, ideas, guidance and love in relation to their own action sport. It means I’m encouraged to progress myself but also to encourage other women to get involved in sports and become part of a growing community. It means ‘ambassador’ for my sport as well as for an awesome brand.
How did you get hooked on your favorite action sport(s)?
I was at a really tough point in my life. I was in a very unhappy marriage where I felt worthless and I had little self value. I had no confidence. I went to visit my brother and he took me for a bike ride, about 6 years ago. I just enjoyed that sense of freedom so much. When I came home I went online and found a local club. Occasionally, another woman even came along so it wasn’t just me and 30 men! I started a women’s section of the club which grew. Mountain biking made me resilient and strong. It helped me rebuild my life.
What challenges do you face being a female in the sport?
Firstly, it was simply finding women to ride with. However, bit by bit and with the
growth of both biking and social media, that is much easier. When I started racing there were only a few women at the events I entered and they were so much better than me so I didn’t really have anyone to compete with. That’s changed overtime too. I now work with my partner to run events through the year (Northern Downhill). We have a great turn out of women at most of our events. They are amazingly supportive and they build each other’s confidence and skills. It’s brilliant to see. I things are still a long way from equal but it’s a work in progress.
Where is the most unusual or exciting place you have done your sport?
Probably in Bourg St Maurice, a town in the French Alps. I competed in a street race on my mountain bike. The course took you by bars, up and down flights of stairs and through showers. An amazing atmosphere with all the people in the bars cheering you on. I raced in a team with Iona and we won the female pairs.
What has been your most memorable moment so far?
I think it was back when I hadn’t been riding long. The first race I entered. It was a freezing wet and snowy day at Kielder Forest and I had a 55km lap race on my mountain bike. It was grim, it was dark, the ground was like a bog. There were not many women entered. It was incredibly tough conditions and a brutal course fitness wise for me. It was a push all the way around. When I finally finished (I was the last), I dropped my bike outside the pub at the end of the course and a man dragged me straight in and onto the podium . I was the only woman to finish the race. A pub of people cheered me, soaking wet, covered in mud and like a rabbit in head lights. It was a good feeling.
Who/what are your inspirations?
The women at the top of their game in the UK, Tahnee Seagrave and Rachel
Atherton of course, they are amazing athletes. But it’s also the women I know.
Women with ordinary lives who bounce back after injuries, who are determined to hit that drop and nail it (however big or small), who have children and return to sport, who raise their daughters to be strong, resilient women in sport. Women who encourage other women what ever level they are at.
Favorite thing about SheShreds products?
I love that SheShreds products identify us as part of a tribe, a strong tribe pushing boundaries. They are built to last and to help us with our sports, a reflection of who we are. They are designed by athletes for athletes and I love that women in SheShreds get to contribute their designs, get to vote and get to have a say in product design from start to finish.