Kindred inside out: My work-cycle balance

Tue, 02 Jul, 2019

Since joining Kindred two years ago, I have quickly grown my role from local to global. I have also managed to challenge myself outside of work, finding a newfound love for cycling. Kindred is proud sponsors of the 2019 Island Games, this year taking place in Gibraltar. On a more personal level, I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll be representing Gibraltar on my bike, being a proud member of the Women’s National Team!

Where it all started

I joined Kindred in September 2017, shortly after we acquired our second UK facing business, 32Red. This was an exciting time for me to join as Lead HR Business Partner and a member of the Gibraltar Management team, to primarily look after the acquisitions and integrations from an HR perspective, as well as lead the local HR team and make a positive contribution to becoming one Kindred team in Gibraltar. It was a challenge and all-encompassing in the first 12 months, but not only did the role give me a great sense of personal achievement, but you feel like you have collectively made a difference. Working with such a united and passionate group of people really makes Kindred a special place to work. Moving into an amazing office has also helped facilitate a great working environment.  

Career path from local to global

In late 2018, I moved into a slightly different role in the newly formed Organisation Effectiveness team, supporting the OD&D programme “Building for our future. I already had experience working with people change at Kindred, but moving into a project-based role - where I needed to learn more about our global operation - was a positive career step and one which has led me into the role I am doing today. As a Global HRBP for functions in Commercial and Product, I am providing dedicated HR support to the Executive Management team and looking at activities that feed into the strategic workforce plan. The management culture at Kindred is one that is truly built on trust, recognition and confidence in your ability to deliver in your role and this is what will continue to drive my engagement and future career milestones at Kindred.

Inspiring a balanced work-life culture

As my career path at Kindred took a change in direction, so did my cycling interest. I have always been a bit sporty, mainly doing running, but I decided to try indoor cycling. In early 2017, I bought my first road bike. Going out on the open road felt even better. I started by joining group social breakfast rides. From there I wanted to do longer, more challenging rides.

Earlier this year, I was approached by the Gibraltar Cycling Association about setting up a Female Cycling Development Programme with the aim of getting a group of interested women race ready for this year’s Island Games and beyond in tours and events where Gibraltar would be represented internationally.  Four local women (including myself) took part in the cycling time trials this spring to qualify for the Island Games and with hard work and dedication, we met the qualifying times. We were going to the Games!

Kindred were looking for a sports team to sponsor to complement the already secured platinum sponsorship agreement with the Island Games Association, so it was a really exciting opportunity to become the official sponsors of the Gibraltar cycling team kit.

The Island Games will be taking place between the 6th and 12th July and I will be entering into three different races. You can learn more about Island Games here. The standard is very high, but I will give it my all and I will feel a great sense of pride representing Gibraltar – as the first time the country has ever had females on the start lines – and wearing the “rainbow” Kindred colours. I couldn’t have done it without the support from my amazing team. Go Gibraltar!


  • Nicola Valarino
    Global HR Business Partner