By David Harward
The Utah High School Cycling League is ready for the 2012-13 school year to start with 4 mountain bike races during the inaugural season. The Utah League was launched at Interbike in September 2011 by the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Nearly 30 schools around the state have volunteer coaches who are preparing for the Fall 2012 race season.
League Executive Director Lori Harward has a difficult time hiding her enthusiasm when she looks forward to 2012 season. “I’ve been working on this for such a long time and didn’t think twice if it would be a success,” she said. “Now with so many coaches and sponsors involved it really is happening and the high school kids are really going to benefit so much!”
The 2012 race season will include races on September 8th at Round Valley in Park City, September 22nd at Sherwood Hills near Logan, October 6th at Lambert Park in Alpine, and October 20th at Dutch Hollow in Heber.
Other significant events for the league include the Annual Leader’s Summit to be held April 28-29 at the Olympic Park’s Day Lodge in Park City. This event will bring together coaches, assistant coaches, ride leaders and parent volunteers to provide training, education and help develop skills, share strategies and build community.
“This conference will promote a holistic approach to coaching that creates an environment in which young people can grow and thrive,” says Harward.
The Leader’s Summit includes a variety of classroom seminars as well as MTB 101 with expert skills instructor Lee McCormack. Contact [email protected] for more information if you are interested in being a part of the program.
The league will also host Cyclefest in June, a fund raising event where the cycling community is celebrated with a focus on the excitement surrounding the upcoming season. Harward is currently in talks with a celebrity guest to host the evening.
During the summer months there will be rider camps and clinics scheduled as well. The focus will be on proper skill and technique as well as focusing on a healthy approach to riding and racing.
Volunteers are needed. “We need volunteer coaches for many schools that have kids interested in participating,” says Harward. She says there are needs for head coaches, assistant coaches and ride leaders. In addition there will be many jobs for volunteers once the race season approaches.
The Utah High School Cycling League will focus on high school aged athletes and mountain biking. The league will use NICA’s 5 Core Principles as their directive: Equality, Inclusivity, Strong Body, Strong Mind, Strong Character. It emphasizes the value of each participant and places camaraderie, positive behavior, respect, and the cultivation of health over competition.
For more detailed information on the events as well as further information about how to get involved with the Utah High School Cycling League can be found at www.utahmtb.org or by contacting Lori Harward directly at [email protected] More information about NICA can be found at www.nationalmtb.org.