In this 11th edition, in honour of February being Black History Month and National Girls…
Ambassador Spotlight: Catharine Pendrel and Haley Smith
Haley Smith and Catharine Pendrel are long-time Fast and Female Ambassadors who have volunteered countless hours to empower girls across Canada. They are about to race their mountain bikes in a 4-day stage race in Israel … and the extra cool part .. they’ll be rocking Fast and Female kits while doing it! We caught up with them to learn more about the race, their stories, and their involvement with Fast and Female.
How long have you been Ambassadors?
H: My first experience as a Fast and Female ambassador was in 2012 at a Canada Cup mountain bike race. I vividly remember the feeling of inspiration I took away from that day, and I knew I wanted to continue being involved with this amazing initiative.
C: Oh good question! Since Canmore Nationals in 2010 I think?
F&F: **Its hard to keep track after almost 10 years of volunteering time to empower girls**
Why did you choose Fast and Female as your cause of choice to promote in this event over all the other amazing worthy causes in the world?
C: I really like what the program stands for and seeing so many girls out having fun. It is totally the type of program I wish existed for me as a young girl and well Chandra’s Olympic medal race was one of my favourite Olympic moments. Pure heart!
H: I am very passionate about the impact of sports on total life wellness, especially for girls. Sports have shaped me as a person and have given me the tools to get through everything life has ever thrown at me. It’s one of my missions in life to share the power of sport and to help more girls find confidence in themselves (among so many other invaluable benefits) through sport. Fast and Female was the obvious choice for me :).
Fun Fact: it was actually my fiancé, Andrew, who suggested racing for Fast and Female at Epic Israel initially. He knows how much this organization and message mean to me, and as soon as he suggested it, I was captivated by the idea.
What advice do you share with our participants?
H: My favourite advice of the moment is “breathe and believe”. Sports have taught me that you really, truly, can achieve anything you set your mind to. That will be my mantra to help me get through these challenging four days of racing we have coming up!
C: Keep it fun! Learning a sport takes time so it has to be something you enjoy!
What are your goals for the race?
C: Haley and I would love to lead the race. We make a really strong team and have fun working together to come out on top!
H: Catharine and I are definitely hoping to be in the mix for the overall win, and hopefully a few stage wins as well. The cool thing is that there are several really strong women’s teams registered, so it will be an exciting race!
We are cheering so loud for these amazing role models. Girls, you got this! You can follow and watch these incredible women race HERE.