by Dan Brooks
The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a youth development organization overseeing high school mountain biking in the United States, announced Georgia as the newest state in its nationally-expanding high school cycling program, at a press conference during the annual Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. The new Georgia High School Cycling League adds to the existing Tennessee High School CyclingLeague in the Southeast, giving many more high school students across the region exciting new opportunities to be part of mountain biking teams in which nobody gets benched. The Georgia High School Cycling League provides safe, quality high school mountain bike programs for student-athletes and teams from public, charter and private schools throughout the state and supports every student-athlete in the development of strong body, strong mind and strong character through their efforts on the bike.
Georgia will hold its first races in the fall of 2014. Student athletes are forming into teams now and need the support of the Georgia cycling community to make their mountain biking dreams a reality. The Georgia league needs head coaches, assistant coaches, ride leaders and general volunteers. Before the racing starts, the league will license coaches, hold a leaders summit and put on rider camps and clinics. The league wants to give any student who wants it, the opportunity to ride a mountain bike. Accomplishing this goal will require support from the Georgia cycling community.
The league requires its student athletes and coaches to give back to the mountain bike community. Trail work days are not a suggestion, but a requirement. And guess what, the trails these student-athletes and coaches help to maintain are the very ones that we ride.
The students and families served by this league are the future of mountain biking. This program will generate our future advocates, coaches, racers, trail builders and designers, IMBA members, volunteers, bike shop owners, bike mechanics, bike engineers and just plain old happy mountain bike riders.
NICA and IMBA have partnered since 2009 to cross-promote their efforts and engage the broad cycling community. Let’s not let this opportunity to grow our mountain bike community pass us by. To get involved, visit www.georgiamtb.org or www.facebook.com/georgiamtb, or contact Dan Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just think, “what if they had this when we were in high school?”