Mountain biking is now a club sport at the high school level in Idaho.

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Mountain Bike the Tetons news release

BOISE — The Idaho High School Cycling League held its first NICA Leaders’ Summit at Avimor Community Center April 11-12, 2015.

The two-day training weekend, which is required for obtaining a NICA Head or Assistant Coach license, brought together coaches to develop skills and knowledge, share strategies and build the community of interscholastic mountain bike coaches in Idaho.

The NICA coaches program is unique in that it provides the only middle and high school age-specific coaching license program in the country, with 2,000 individuals presently licensed at four levels and education opportunities expanding continually.

The NICA coaches program has stringent requirements, including: Wilderness first-aid and concussion recognition training;, bike skills to teach young beginners; risk mitigation and management, annual continuing education and mandatory background checks.

Participants were also trained on how to start a team and create an environment in which young people can grow and thrive on and off the bike. Additional topics also covered how to work with schools, best practices for working with local bike shops and trail stewardship groups, and inspiring and motivating youth cyclists, including girls.

“It is always a privilege to be at an inaugural summit,” stated NICA Executive Director and summit presenter Austin McInerny, “The combination of the quality NICA Leaders’ Summit program coupled with passionate, enthusiastic coach volunteers, produces individuals equipped to get more kids on bikes in the state of Idaho. With 47 coaches in attendance, the NICA Idaho High School Cycling League is off to a great start.”

“The feedback and energy from the summit surpassed my expectations including seasoned coaches asserting that this was the best youth training experience of their life,” Dylan Gradhandt, Idaho League Director commented. “Why? NICA’s core values of strong mind, body and character, as well as inclusivity and equality, anchor all of their educational material and presentations. The coaches are not only educated, but they are inspired to change lives.”

One attendee, Josh Nota from Boise, Idaho, commented, “I came to the NICA Leaders’ Summit, and I left motivated, energized and inspired and really excited to make a difference with the youth in my community.”

With the completion of the Leaders’ Summit, Idaho coaches will spend the rest of this spring developing a mountain biking club in their local high schools or communities. Summer will include pre-season activities, and the first race series will take place this fall from September through October.

For more information on the Idaho High School Cycling League, please visit (

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