Student mountain bikers from Maryland will soon have the opportunity to compete in the Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League. Organized in 2017, the league will provide a fun, safe and high-quality mountain biking program for students in grades 6 to 12. Maryland joins the growing National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a youth development organization governing interscholastic mountain biking in the United States, as a member of the 2018-2019 class of new leagues.
Virtually anyone, from administrators to teachers, to students and community members, can start a cycling club at their local high school or middle school. Every district works a little differently, but most school’s athletic programs depend on the support of community members. So if you’re interested in starting a cycling club, visit your school and ask questions about their current sports programs, then discuss your plans and ideas with your school administration, and you’re ready to get started.
Racing in Maryland is projected to start in the fall of 2018. “Maryland has an incredibly healthy mountain bike community and the timing is perfect for non-traditional youth sports programs here,” says Maryland league director Jonathan Posner. “I am beyond excited to be a part of the team that is bringing this league to launch. The amount of support and encouragement out there is just amazing, from neighboring NICA leagues to industry folks to friends and family, and it is going to add up to life-changing experiences for kids in our state.”
The Maryland League will have its headquarters in Catonsville. While most of the planning is occurring this winter, interested student-athletes, and individuals wishing to become coaches or volunteers, are invited to contact Jon Posner ([email protected]) regarding information on a forthcoming coach training leaders’ summit.
The addition of Maryland to the NICA network greatly increases the availability of interscholastic cycling. NICA now includes 21 leagues, including programs in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Northern California, Pennsylvania, Southern California, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
For more information about the Maryland Interscholastic Cycling League, visit marylandmtb.org.
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— Donna Jefferson