06 Sep 2022

Tuesday 06 September 2022

Malindi MacLean (Taylor, 2005–06) departed King’s College as Sportswoman of the Year to pursue a professional cycling career.

KC154 Newspageheader 1 Outward Bound

Her ride into the sunset was a success, taking Malindi to cycling tracks around the world. But high-speed cornering was just the start of her ambitions and with matching determination she then straight-lined into business leadership.Fifteen years after graduating from the College, Malindi took on the role of Chief Executive at outdoors education icon Outward Bound. She slowed down long enough to chat with the King’s Courier about the transition from bike to boardroom then to motherhood and why Outward Bound is the antidote to our ills.

When cycling at the limit Malindi would repeat a brutal inner monologue, “Circle, circle, circle; pain is my friend,” a glimpse into the grit and staying power required at the sport’s highest levels. This mindset helped Malindi in representing New Zealand at the2006 World Junior Cycling Championships in Belgium and the 2006 Oceania Championships, where she won the Under-19500m Time Trial – an achievement even more impressive for its timing given she was completing Year 13. In what would be a stressful balancing act for most, Malindi was on cruise control.

“If I were to do that now I’d find it challenging, but at the time, it was just what I did,” reflects Malindi. “When you’re young you’re naive to what should be stressful. I would get up at 5am and train before school, then go to school, come home and do other activities. I was energised by King’s.”

Following her final school year and successes wearing the silver fern, Malindi raced in various formats overseas and received a scholarship to the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland. On the track, she was dialled in, but continuing her education wasn’t as smooth. “I started studying at the University of Auckland, but I was racing overseas so I’d have exams sent to a university in California, or somewhere else, and sit in a hall at a ridiculous hour to do my exam at the same time as my classmates back in Auckland. Then I’d need to be up early again for training. It was really disjointed,” recalls Malindi. 

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