Fast and Female Empowerment Program Returns to Winnipeg
22 Oct, 2015
Pro Cyclist Set to Inspire, Challenge Girls in Sport
Professional cyclist Leah Kirchmann has a passion for sport and is making the dreams of girls and women across the country into reality with her work with Fast and Female. Founded in 2005, the not-for-profit Fast and Female (www.fastandfemale.com) will hold its second Winnipeg event on October 23, 2015 in conjunction with the 2015 Canadian Cyclocross Championships. The “Champ Chat” for girls will take place on Friday, October 23, 2015 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Royal Dance Studio at the Forks in Winnipeg.
The Fast and Female Winnipeg event, intended for girls ages 9 to 15, is an evening of cycling, bootcamps, inspiration and fun with international cycling stars Maghalie Rochette, Emily Kachorek, Carolina Villafane Gabby Durrin, Anna Schappert, Ally Stacher and Winnipeg’s Leah Kirchmann. The event is open to individuals involved in ALL sports, and is hoping to attract up to 50 participants.
“The vision of Fast and Female is to promote female empowerment through sport. I want young girls who attend the event to dream big with their personal goals, and to pursue a healthy and athletic lifestyle,” says Kirchmann.
By age 14 girls are two times more likely to drop out of sports due to a lack of access to sporting opportunities, social stigma, decreased quality of experience, cost, and lack of positive role models. Fast and Female hopes to inspire and empower girls across the country to stay in sport, and communities to further encourage program development for this age group.
Registration for the event can be found online here.
LEAH KIRCHMANN BIO: Leah Kirchmann is a professional cyclist from Winnipeg, MB. Growing up in Winnipeg, cross-country skiing was the sport of choice for Leah.
After trying her hand at few mountain bike races as part of Kids of Mud program, she was hooked on cycling. It didn’t take long for her talents on the bike to be spotted by former Polish champion, Marion Pyszczek who convinced her to join the provincial team and to start road racing.
Throughout her teens Leah, rode in the summer and skied through the winter months. She signed her first pro contract in 2011 with Colavita-Forno d’Asolo and made an instant impression on the US peloton, finishing second in the NRC series before joining Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies. She has signed with the Dutch team Liv-Plantur for the 2016 season, with her eyes set on the Rio Olympics.
Some stand out accomplishments include a podium finish at La Course by Le Tour de France, and being the first rider to ever win all three Canadian Road national championship titles in the same year in 2014.
This year she was also a 2x stage winner, and finished 2nd overall at the Women’s Amgen Tour of California.
Leah completed a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Sciences at Quest University Canada in British Columbia in 2013. In her spare time, Leah loves to experiment with new foods and recipes. She also loves to spend as much time as possible outdoors, taking part in activities such as hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and yoga.