2018 Conference Programme - Day 2


Download the conference programme


Fiona Hyslop - Scottish Government, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs

Fiona Hyslop.Jpg.Ld

Fiona was elected in the first session of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 she has been returned as the Constituency MSP for Linlithgow since 2011.

She was appointed as Cabinet Secretary of Education and Lifelong Learning in 2007 and was responsible for abolishing backend university tuition fees. She has had responsibility for culture and external affairs since 2009 and is currently the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.

Fiona's presentation will highlight the importance of mountain biking in helping the Scottish Government in achieving its targets within the national performance indicators including tourism, health and the environment.

Fanie Kok, Trail Advocate - Specialized

Fanie Kok

Fanie's role within Specialized started out as a global mountain bike product and rider market research program, but the more trail advocates he met, the more apparent it became how disconnected the whole industry is from what’s happening at the grassroots level. 

He travels the world meeting trail builders and organisig dig days to encourage mountain bike communities to embrace trail repair and maintenance

Fanie will be co-presenting with Chris Ball, Enduro World Series, with a view from industry on how we can sustain, protect and grow trail networks, and learn from their experience of effective models of trail stewardship globally and how these could be incorporated into Scotland.

Chris Ball, Managing Director - Enduro World Series

Chris Ball WebUnifying, planning and developing the mountain bike Enduro World Series, launched in May 2013. The main task is to coordinate and deliver a world class, sport focussed, creative and inclusive discipline of international enduro mountain bike racing.

Chris has been involved in many roles within mountain biking including being the founder and still current director of leading Scottish coaching provider, Dirt School; UCI Technical Delegate - Gravity Sports; Scottish Cycling National DH Coach; author & photographer for a variety of leading MTB publications; and Scottish DH champion in 2002.  

Julie Harrington, CEO - British Cycling

Before her current role, Julie amassed almost 15 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in a sports environment.Julie Cycling Web

Since joining British Cycling, Julie has overseen the implementation of the organisation’s action plan following the Cycling Independent Review, as well as widespread changes to allow the governing body to comply with the government’s new Code for Sports Governance.

Julie will be co-presenting with Craig Burn (CEO - Scottish Cycling) detailing the support the governing bodies provide for mountain biking and an insight into the new strategies being developed across Great Britain and Scotland.

Craig Burn – CEO - Scottish Cycling

Craig joined Scottish Cycling as Chief Executive in 2011, bringing with him a sport’s management career spanning more than 20 years. His experience in commercial leisure management and sports development across local, regional and national levels has brought key skills to a high performing modern sports government body. In his earlier years Craig worked on leading programmes and initiatives for sportscotland where he successfully set up Scotland’s first Regional Sports Partnership. Currently Craig is working with a strong senior management team to drive Scottish Cycling’s vision for cycling to be the most successful and popular sport and physical activity in Scotland.

Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive - Surfers Against Sewage

Hugo Tagholm WebHugo Tagholm  is an environmentalist, campaigner, surfer, charity professional and a TEDx speaker.

Surfers Against Sewage has evolved from a single-issue pressure group into one of the country's best loved marine conservation charities. Driven by people who actively use the our oceans and beaches, it represents over 350,000 regular supporters and now mobilises the biggest beach clean community in the UK, some 75,000 volunteers annually contributing over 200,000 hours of time to protecting beaches nationwide. 

It's priority issue today is plastic pollution, which is frequently top of the global environmental agenda, as the Blue Planet recently documented. It continues to be at the forefront of protecting and improving water quality at UK beaches, and works tirelessly across a range of issues from climate change to human health & wellbeing in our oceans. 

Internationally recognised, this year has seen the charity take its message of ocean optimism to the UN Oceans Conference in New York, the Our Oceans Conference in Malta and organises many events through its own All Party Parliamentary Group in the Houses of Parliament, where it brings together leading voices of marine conservation, MPs and ministers to discuss new measures to protect the ocean. 

Isla Short - Scottish Athlete, Douglas Carchrie - Trail Advocate & Brodie Hood - Photographer 

Isla PhotoIn the Year of Young People, three talented mountain bikers will provide a perspective from young people on the current state of Scottish mountain biking and how the sport should look in the future.

Isla Short is a cross country mountain biker from the Tweed Valley. I'm a lover of all things outdoors and a part time student. This year she made competed her debut Commonwealth Games and finished 5th. She has had multiple top 10 placings at World Cup level and has represented Great Britain at European and World Championships.

Douglas Carchrie is currently studying Geography at Inverness College, part of the University of Highlands & Islands (UHI). He is a keen enduro racer and avid trail builder. He was the first recipient of the Dick Ballharry prize, a travel fund from the National Trust for Scotland, allowing him to travel to British Columbia on the west coast of Canada and study mountain bike trail building and all the surrounding infrastructure.

Brodie Hood grew up in the Scottish town of Peebles. He spent his childhood riding bikes, from there he went on to study Adventure Tourism Management in Fort William. Throughout his life, he has been drawn to Adventure Sports and his love for these sports has grown so has his passion of photography. Being efficient in these sports allows him to get into those "hard to get to" locations to capture unique and exciting images.

Aneela McKenna, Go Where Scotland

Aneela Mc Kenna Web Credit Sven MartinAneela is a partner of MTB tour operator Go-Where Scotland and is a core member of their guiding team. Whether she’s leading tours in the incredible landscapes of Scotland or rallying people from all walks of life to swing a leg over the saddle - Aneela brings 20+ years' as a Diversity and Inclusion professional into everything she does. Aneela is passionate about encouraging people from all walks of life to ride bikes. She works tirelessly to increase diversity in mountain biking and firmly believes that mountain biking is more than a sport - Aneela champions the wider benefits of mountain biking to help build confidence, strength and resilience in everyday life.

Professor Geraint Florida-James presents Tony Westbury, Debbie Palmer and Lewis Kirkwood - Edinburgh Napier University

Insight into the latest research from Scotland’s leading mountain bike university. Research will include mental health, MTB & SIMD studies, injuries at major events and enduro athlete preparation. 


Workshop 1 – Future of MTB Campaigning and Support

To ensure we maximise the benefits of mountain biking how do we work together to create a more sustainable and effective support structure?

Hosted by Developing MTB in Scotland

Workshop 2 – MTB & Scottish Natural Health Service

How do we effectively integrate mountain biking into more community and professional health environments?

Hosted by Scottish Natural Heritage and Edinburgh Napier University/Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland 

Workshop 3 – Mountain Bike Leadership

Growing the number of leaders will be crucial in helping more people access the sport – how do we achieve this in a sustainable manner?

SOLD? Well get yourself along to our booking page and get signed up.

Want to know more about what is happening on the opening day of the conference? This highlighted text will send you there.