Klamath Falls Composite NICA Mountain Bike Team
Information meeting: May 14th @ 6pm (Zach’s Bikes, 831 Main St.)
Our local NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) team, Klamath Falls Composite (aka The Jackalopes) is getting ready to start our 2019 season. Planning begins as early as March, to attend leadership training for coaches. This year, KTA members, Lillian Schiavo Gilmour and Andy Shadley attended the Oregon League Leadership conference, which focuses on developing coaches and team management.
Jackalopes 2018 Season recap - 10 students, 6 coaches:
· 60% of the students had little to no experience riding a bike
· We had 59 practices (including clinics) & 4 races
· 6 of the team members raced, 5 finished in on the podium every race, 3 were Oregon League race series leaders
· 1 member was voted by the Oregon League coaches as the Most Supportive Athlete - Boys (a really big deal!)
· 1 team member selected to be an Oregon League GRiT ambassador
The biggest success of the season, was seeing how these kids transformed into mountain bikers and became part of an extended youth mountain biking community. We witnessed friendships develop on the team, and with athletes from across the state.
What is a NICA mountain bike team?
Currently NICA has 27 leagues in 25 states. The Jackalopes are part of the Oregon League. This is not just a scholastic team sport, but a youth development program, whose primary mission is to develop strong minds and bodies and character and get more kids on bikes. Interscholastic mountain biking is not like other sports and the Jackalopes are not like any youth sports team. NICA teams are inclusive, for all abilities and experience levels. We focus on fun, teamwork, learning new skills, respect for our trails, and supportive team environment to challenge each other to get better, while keeping it safe. Everybody rides, everybody races if they want to, no benching, and no tryouts!
Due to the unique programming and culture of the NICA team and leagues, here are a couple of key facts and statistics about those who participate:
97% of students joining a team, return.
73% of students inspired others to start riding
88% of NICA students athletes report an increase in fitness as a result of participation
67% in growth of participation of girls in the sport of mountain biking since 2009
78% of student-athletes report that their respect for the environment and other trail users increased.
Below are just a couple of the other NICA programs available to all student-athletes who join a NICA team:
NICA GRiT - A national program thru events, activities, and training, that aims to increase female participation 10%/year.
Teen Trail Corps - Program provides NICA student athletes the opportunity to serve and give their time toward bike related advocacy activities. We plan on working with Zach’s Bikes to participate in the trail work events for KTA.
Oregon League Backpacking camp - This year a number of athletes on our team will join others in the state on a 4 day camp to learn about bikepacking, and will ride a portion of the Oregon Timber Trail.
The Jackalopes share one of NICA’s core values, equality. Our goal is not have to turn away any student athletes who may not have the financial resources to participate. We keep the team dues low, so this program is accessible to all who have a desire to participate. This year, we also hope to minimize the out of pocket costs that our volunteer coaches have for certification and traveling to races. Any contributions and sponsorship funding is appreciated. There are other ways to help out as well, other than money.
2019 Season Team Recruitment /Preseason Activities
Based on interest and inquiries, we anticipate the team may double in size this season. NICA has a very strict student athlete to coach ratio (6:1 & 8:2). We will also increase our coaching “staff” and develop them to meet the growing size of the team. This coed program is open to all students who enter the 6th thru 12 grade this fall. Registration is now open to all returning students and applications are being accepted for all new members. Preseason activities will be starting in May which include fun “try it out” rides, riding skill clinics, basic trail side repair clinic, and team building events. The season officially starts in July where we practice 3 times a week in Moore Park and Spence Mountain on the weekends.
Information meeting will be at Zach’s Bikes (831 Main St.) on May 14th at 6pm.
For additional information on our program, joining the team, volunteering, and sponsorship opportunities, contact Lillian at 541-892-7894, email@example.com .
You can also visit the following websites for additional information
Photo by Kyle Cox