Kate Cullen is an Associate at an Architectural Practice specialising a sports facilities, a former racer, member of The Racers, and now Scottish Cycling’s newest Board Director.
Born in Cornwall but having lived in Scotland since 1999, with a family hailing from Ayrshire, Kate was the first ever female to win a cycling medal for Scotland when she took bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in the Points race on the track.
Kate says that the role is going to be quite flexible, dependant on athlete’s needs:
“At the moment it is a pilot scheme as it is a newly appointed role. The role has been created so any questions or opinions which are not fitting for the coach/performance manager can still be communicated. The views can also be any ideas that could benefit an athlete’s performance; it will become more defined based on feedback from the riders.
All riders supported on a Scottish Cycling programme have been individually contacted about the role and how I can be contacted. I will also be attending some training sessions so I can meet any riders who do not know me.”
As a former athlete who understands the challenges that can be faced, Kate is a perfect fit.
“They were looking for a former athlete and as I have no family members involved in cycling and have been out of the sport long enough to have no emotional ties I agreed.
When I raced it was very difficult for a female to make a living out of racing a bike – and still is. It was my career in architecture that lead me to cycling; during my last year of my architectural training at the Glasgow School of Art I hypothetically designed a Velodrome, before then I did not know what track racing was.
As part of my research I had a go on Manchester velodrome and really enjoyed it. After graduating, I worked for an architectural practice in Edinburgh and started to ride the Meadowbank Track League and joined a local cycling club. It all progressed from there.”
Both the Scottish Cycling Board and Kate have high hopes for the new role.
“My aims are to have happy riders and to do this I need to help them receive the best support Scottish Cycling can offer. You need to love riding and racing your bike, so when it gets tough you will still enjoy it. I remember once asking Mark Cavendish about the hilly stages in the tour, which can be a tough day for a sprinter – he said he just loves riding and racing his bike.”
Kathy Gilchrist, Scottish Cycling Chair said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have Kate as our newest member of the Scottish Cycling Board of Directors as the Athlete’s Representative. It is increasingly important that our athletes have a way of communicating with the board as we work to grow and develop our performance programmes. By doing this we hope to give our Scottish riders the best chance to succeed.”
If you want to find out more about the performance programmes at Scottish Cycling please click here.