One of the most amazing sporting stories of 2013 is Angella Goran’s cycling journey across Canada. Called Bike for Wildlife, her remarkable ride began in August 2013. Starting in Victoria, British Columbia, her goal is to reach Halifax, Nova Scotia as a means of gaining awareness for the Canadian Wildlife Federation and the need to preserve our ecological legacy for future generations.
Her story is reminiscent of another amazing woman who underwent her own cross-country expedition; Ashley Gilbank. In 2012, Gilbank skated across Canada in hopes of raising funds for mental health awareness. Known as Skate4Life, she skated westbound, reaching Victoria in October. The Do It for Daron fund based out of Ottawa was a key beneficiary of her remarkable efforts.
With an athletic background spanning 15 years in disciplines such as rowing, cycling and triathlon, Goran was prepared to undertake this trying yet rewarding endeavor. In addition, she is also a Certified Top Level indoor cycling instructor along with being a Strength and Conditioning Trainer. Her compassion can also be attributed to the fact that she is a Lifestyle Coach, who sincerely wants to see others reach their potential.
As a triathlete, Goran has earned a pair of first place finishes in the 2009 Somersault Triathlon Series. During the 2010 edition of the series, she would earn one third place finish and two second place nods. At the Worlds Long Course Triathlon in Immenstadt, Germany, she completed the demanding 4 km swim, 130 km bike ride and 30 km run in a time of 9:57:34.
Goran is more than just an athlete, but an entrepreneur, a pillar in her community and an inspiration for women who want to accomplish their dreams. Having started an apparel line called 4Life Lifestyle, she is also the founder of the Ottawa-based Cyclepathic Indoor Cycling Studio (in the Ottawa Sports Performance Centre). It was an interest of hers to create a business venture that shared the positive impact that sport can have.
Motivated to help preserve Canada’s ecological legacy by connecting nature to sport, Goran discovered a labor of love. With the objective to inspire those through values such as education and belief, she is a remarkable individual proving that one person truly can make a difference.
As the athletic ambassador for the Canadian Wildlife Federation (of note, world traveller Ken Beattie and ocean racer Damian Foxall are also CWF athlete ambassadors), her 6,000 km trek across Canada helps to celebrate the remarkable and captivating landscapes and the diversity of wildlife that call it home. Sponsors have included lead sponsor Burnbrae Farms, Johnson Insurance Inc., Just Green Lifestyle (ensuring a carbon neutral bike ride), ESKA Waters, Robert Bateman Centre, Sportstats and Primo Trailer Sales. Such support makes Goran’s journey a true team effort as she works tirelessly on her journey to have a positive impact on others and the land they live on.
Throughout the journey, Goran is making over 50 stops, as she will speak to camps, schools and various communities about Bike for Wildlife. Of note, once Goran reached Toronto on the leg of her trip, she even had the opportunity to appear on a Canadian talk show known as The Social. When her journey reached the Nation’s Capital on Thanksgiving Day, she had the opportunity to run into a pair of world class athletes that supported her worthy cause; world class kayaker Kristin Gauthier and hockey player Katie Weatherston, a gold medalist at the 2006 Torino Winter Games.
With the effort of the CWF, the message is to inspire those to conserve Canada’s natural legacy, while educating youth on getting outdoors and understanding the importance of the species and their spaces. Programs that the CWF has supported include Little Brown Bat, the North Atlantic Right Whale and the Woodland Caribou, to name a few.
As this heroic journey is scheduled to conclude on October 30, 2013, Goran is worthy of serious consideration for the Lou Marsh Award (awarded to Canada’s best athlete). Her journey encompasses the qualities that defines Canada; perseverance, love of nature, pride and friendship.