Race seasons begin in 2023 for Arizona and Delaware
BERKELEY, California [March 24, 2022] — The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) today announced that it has accepted bids from Arizona and Delaware to become the newest leagues to join NICA, which develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes and coaches across the United States.
“Interest in NICA and our full range of programming and initiatives continue to remain high year over year,” said NICA President Amanda Carey. “This is why we continually evaluate new league applications and look for grassroots demand. We are looking forward to welcoming and supporting the leagues in Arizona and Delaware as part of our commitment to maintaining thriving NICA youth mountain bike leagues everywhere that reflect our core values of fun, inclusivity, equity, respect, and community.”
The Arizona Interscholastic Cycling League (AICL) will begin hosting events and races in spring 2023.
“We are stoked to partner with NICA and rebrand AICL in Arizona with our existing NICA/AICL mountain bike families. As your fellow mountain bike parents, coaches, team directors, we have a strong working knowledge of what the next steps need to be to advance our community to the next level,” said AICL League Director, Jen Harrelson. “Our main objective is to propagate our mountain bike family, by providing a warm welcome to all who want to participate. When you show up at our events, you’ll get a fist bump, high five, a hug, or even a secret handshake if you want to create one. Our league will embrace camaraderie, inclusivity, personalized coach/team support, and an overall vibe of good times!”
NICA’s Pit Zone registration system will open in Arizona in September 2022 for AICL coaches and in October 2022 for student-athletes. AICL’s preseason will begin in October 2022, the regular season starts in December 2022 and racing will begin in the spring of 2023.
Wes Biesen, AICL’s Chair of Fundraising and Development said: “The growth we have seen in our student-athletes in the sport of mountain biking has been nothing short of astounding. They learn to push themselves to limits they never realized were possible, all while having the support of coaches and their fellow student-athletes. We have witnessed kids making lifelong friends, growing mentally and physically, overcoming fears, and massive accomplishments, which all directly translate into life outside of mountain biking. We look forward to our continued partnership with NICA as we share NICA’s values to make the sport more accessible to more kids and coaches.”
The racing and events season will begin in fall 2023 as part of the Delaware Interscholastic Mountain Biking League.
“Mountain biking is above all else about community building,” said Delaware League Director and Founder Maria Dziembowska. “Bringing youth mountain biking to Delaware is a pathway to engage young people in building stronger bodies, minds, and characters, ingredients needed for individuals and for our communities to thrive. I am thrilled to serve as NICA’s first League Director in Delaware and I am motivated by the opportunity to make mountain biking accessible to all.”
NICA’s Pit Zone registration system will open in Delaware in March 2023 for coaches and in April 2023 for student-athletes. Pre-season activities will begin in April 2023, the regular season starts in July 2023, and races will begin in the fall of 2023.
“We are just ordinary people with an extraordinary vision,” said Delaware Events Director and Founder Scotty Roberts. “NICA shares our beliefs, values, and passion for educating and engaging youth in creative ways within the cycling community. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with them and help get more kids on bikes in Delaware.”
Chris Grundner, Advisory Board member, added: “As a parent, I am incredibly happy to see how much my son has grown, as a cyclist, but more importantly as a young man through his participation in NICA. He had the opportunity to challenge himself both physically and mentally and he has grown immensely as a result. The best part is he did it all while making new friends and having a ton of fun. Suffice to say, NICA has made a lifelong supporter out of me, and I look forward to seeing the Delaware League launch next year!”
With the addition of the Arizona and Delaware leagues, NICA has grown to 31 leagues and counting and increased the regional opportunities for youth cycling. NICA supports its leagues through racing, outdoor adventure, and teen trail corps programming along with coach licensing among other efforts.
In addition, the organization offers an initiative called GRiT, which is designed to get more girls into cycling, along with a dedicated Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiative to bring more underrepresented communities into NICA. NICA’s core values of fun, inclusivity, equity, respect, and community are visible throughout its national organization and leagues.