Female Speedway Riders – Nella Änkiläinen: This sport also needs girls (interview)
In our new series „Female Speedway Riders” we will talk to the women present in the world of speedway. We will interview those who raced in the past, but also those who continue to do so. In the first episode we will talk with Nella Änkiläinen.
Konrad Cinkowski (Twój Portal Żużlowy): You’re not a well known rider in Poland. Before the beginning, say something about you.
Nella Änkiläinen: I’m 14 years old girl and I live in Finland. My hometown is Varkaus. There is a speedway stadion, where I can practise. I have been raced 3 years.
– Your brother – Jani also is racing on the speedway. Was it obvious that that you will be racing too?
– Since I was a kid I have been interested of motor vehicles. So when Jani started to ride speedway, it looked fun and I also want to try it. Next summer I already had my own bike. That was made by my dad Jouni. Jani’s bike is also made by him.
– How your familly reacted for your decision? It was tough to convince your parents?
– They thought I wouldn’t be interested of that very long. But they were wrong.
– I read somewhere, that your Godmother raced on sidecars. Can you tell something about that?
– Kirsi Kainulainen is my mentor. If I have something to ask for „women to women” of „men’s hobby” she will be help me. She is raced with Pekka Päivärinta on sidecars. In 2016 they won world championchip.
– Do you feel less feminine when you’re practicing typical „men sport”?
– No, this sport also needs girls.
– How are women who practice speedway treated in Finland?
– In Finland there is no other girls who race speedway. So it’s not very well known.
– Can you present some your succeses?
– I was the first finnish women who won speedway race. I was 12 years old. Micro 125cc competition was in Varkaus.
– For sure you have some goals. Can you say something about them?
– Next summer I will race Baltic Speedway League competitions in 125cc track race class, if corona doesn’t mess my plans. I will practise more 250cc riding too. I have tested to ride 500cc speedway bike and maybe some day I have my own bike.
– What do you do in winter?
– I ride iceroadracing in winter. It’s a long time for summer, so it’s good to ride on ice sometimes.