New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling League Hosts First NICA Leaders Summit – Los Alamos Reporter
Members of the New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling League gathered at a leadership summit last month. Photo by Mary Grow
BY TRAVIS MOULTON
The New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling League was launched on March 8. The new league’s first official event was to host a summit of National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) leaders on April 23-24. The summit had volunteers from Carlsbad to Farmington and Silver City to Los Alamos, including volunteers from the Navajo Nation. Farmington’s Haden Cox said: “There’s a lot of energy at the top and the potential impact for NM can be significant.”
The sessions taught volunteers NICA techniques and methods for working with student athletes, building and managing a NICA team, and NICA rules for mountain bike racing. Max Bennet of Carlsbad NM said, “My first bike gave me a sense of freedom that turned into a lifelong passion for cycling. Having the opportunity to share this passion with the younger generation and give back to the cycling community is why I am following this course. For the second time in New Mexico, volunteer coaches were able to complete NICA’s On-the-Bike Skills 101 course so that they, in turn, can teach basic mountain biking skills to their student-athletes. For the first time, NICA’s more advanced program, On-the-Bike skills 201, was taught.
National NICA leaders were on hand to deliver and oversee the training, including Mike McGarry, Senior Director of Coaching Licensing, Abby Warner Vice President of Programs, and Jake Webber, a Utah League Certified Coach. Emily Dreyer of Albuquerque said, “Mike is a terrific instructor and the breakout sessions were very informative. It was great to meet coaches from across the state and share their insights. I’m really excited to get more young girls riding bikes and wish I had such an opportunity when I was young. Some 44 volunteers from across the state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation participated and received various NICA certifications to help build and grow NICA teams in their hometowns.
Greg Kirk of Gallup said, “I am thrilled to see outdoor recreation opportunities growing in the region and to be part of that process as Gallup begins to reinvent itself. Gallup has so many outdoor recreation opportunities, especially epic trails!” NICA training focuses on risk management and teaching student-athletes how to ride these trails safely. NICA also focuses on environmental stewardship. NICA practices a Leave No Trace policy and sponsors a Teen Trail Corps program where student athletes volunteer for bike-related advocacy and conservation projects, including trail building.
Alan Bencivengo of Ft Defiance, AZ is a volunteer who helps the Dine Composite team said, “There are very few organized recreational activities for young people in the Navajo Nation, and I am so happy to be able to support activities stable and fun for young people here.
About the New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling League (NMICL)
The vision of the New Mexico Interscholastic Cycling League (NMICL) is to provide a fun, inclusive, and safe environment for New Mexico’s youth community to enjoy the benefits of outdoor recreation, especially mountain biking. Visit https://www.newmexicomtb.org/ for more information or contact us at [email protected]
About the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA)
The mission of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is to strengthen minds, bodies, character and communities through cycling. NICA recognizes the value of participation in NICA League events for all student-athletes, without discrimination based on race, religion, or gender identity. Our core value of inclusiveness demonstrates our belief that everyone should participate in our programs and feel welcomed, respected and supported.
Founded in 2009 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, NICA develops interscholastic and community cycling programs for student-athletes and coaches across the United States. NICA provides leadership and governance services to local leagues to deliver quality mountain biking activities and events. NICA has served nearly 64,000 student-athletes since 2009. Currently, NICA has 29 state and regional leagues and more than 14,000 registered volunteer coaches who work annually with more than 27,000 student-athletes from more than 1 000 high school and college teams in the United States.NICA exists thanks to generous sponsors, donors and partners. For more information about NICA, visit www.nationalmtb.org, follow @nationalMTB on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, or call (510) 524-5464.