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President's Note

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NICA student-athletes in the Oregon League racing at Mt. Bachelor. Photo: Steve Matous

Dear Team NICA -

It has been fantastic and energizing to see our community come together this fall and hold events to continue to build strong minds, bodies, character and community for our student-athletes. Congratulations to the Nebraska League and the South Carolina League on successful inaugural races earlier this month. With five new leagues launching this Fall, the launch of the Kansas League this past spring, and the continued growth of our existing leagues, we are thrilled to see the NICA community grow to over 26,400 student-athletes this year with over 14,000 volunteer coaches committed to getting #MoreKidsOnBikes.

While visiting several leagues this fall I have enjoyed connecting with our community and watching the joy mountain biking brings to our student-athletes. I applaud the determination of our league directors, race crews, coaches, parents and volunteers to ensure that our student-athletes can participate in NICA events and feel safe, supported and encouraged along the way.

In West Virginia this past weekend the League welcomed a new venue in Cacapon State Park, the result of years of effort of working with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. Zach Adams, a West Virginia League core staff member, built the trail at Cacapon that student-athletes raced on and is now a new trail that the public can enjoy as well. These kinds of partnerships and community involvement are what sets NICA apart. Hats off to League Director Cassie Smith for her leadership and to her team for their efforts in creating new venues that benefit the entire community.

Best Regards,
Steve

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What's New Across NICA

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Nebraska student-athletes head out to race at their inaugural event. Photo: Michael Wong

Nebraska and South Carolina Leagues Launch Inaugural Race Seasons

Congratulations to the Nebraska League and South Carolina League on launching their inaugural seasons! Both leagues held their inaugural races the weekend of September 11th with 65 student-athletes racing at the Nebraska League's Acre Shaker at Arkfeld Acres and 215 student-athletes racing at Anne Springs Close Greenway with the South Carolina League.

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Photo: Stella Wu / Wisconsin League

Trek NICA Pathfinders Scholarship Applications CLOSE September 30th!

We have partnered with Trek on the Pathfinders Scholarship to bring greater diversity, equity and inclusion to youth mountain biking. The Trek NICA Pathfinders Scholarship provides recipients with a Trek Marlin mountain bike, helmet, shoes, accessories, and a kit. Additionally, recipients receive a stipend to cover NICA national and league membership fees and entry fees for a full season of racing. Applications are currently being accepted for teams and student-athletes who will participate in a Spring 2022 NICA League. Applications are due 9/30/21 - Apply now HERE!

Victor Voss awarded grant for leaf blower - Todd Bauer photo

Victoria Voss. Photo: Todd Bauer

Minnesota League's Victoria Voss Earns Teen Trail Corps Captain Award

Congratulations to Victoria Voss for earning the Teen Trail Corps Captain award! Through her efforts, Victoria has demonstrated a commitment to mountain biking beyond just riding, to include advocating for mountain biking throughout her community in Minnesota. She’s written letters and spoken directly with land managers to encourage mountain biking within their trail systems. She updated trail information and points-of-interest in Trailforks to help trail users find their way. She practiced her personal riding skills and then went on to help teach riding skills to local Girl Scouts. To top it all off, she applied for and received a grant from People's Energy Cooperative on behalf of the Rochester Active Sports Club to purchase a heavy duty Stihl BR600 blower to maintain her local trails!

Nice job Victoria! Keep up the passion and hard work advocating for trails, riders, and your community.

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Kentucky GRiT-to-Know Your Bike Camp in 2021. Photo: Denile Hill

GRiT Grants Awarded to NICA Leagues

We’re excited to announce $70,000 in new grant funding awarded to our leagues through the GRiT Grants Program! The GRiT Grants Programs provides grants of up to $5,000 to assist NICA Leagues in strengthening their GRiT programming. Funds this year are going to support projects that seek to develop and recruit new female coaches, recruit new female student-athletes and develop programs to retain female student-athletes and coaches. Leagues are engaging in a wide range of projects including GRiT Try-it-Out Clinics, leadership development curriculums and building bike fleets to reach underrepresented populations. Learn more about NICA's GRiT Program HERE.

West Virginia GRiT Creates Art with Nature

NICA GRiT programs continue to come up with amazing ways to engage female athletes at race weekends and other events, building community and having FUN! Check out these stellar examples of a photo challenge organized by Mia Fox and Jodi Mondy, leaders of the West Virginia GRiT Program. They empowered teams of female athletes and coaches to create a design while out on the trail, using nothing but natural materials.

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Help NICA Earn Our 2021 Great Nonprofits Top Rated Badge!

Do you think NICA is awesome? Well then we need your help to tell us and the world about the impact that NICA is having to get #morekidsonbikes in your family and community. To help keep NICA’s Greatnonprofits.org top-rated status and increase the visibility of our work we need you to submit your reviews and share your stories, photos and videos. It only takes a few minutes and is easy to do! Click HERE, click the orange ‘Share Your Story’ button and rate us. Your voices will also be leading the way to inspire potential volunteers and donors too!

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Chihiro from Podiumwear is here to help you!

Say Hello to Chihiro from Podiumwear!

Meet Chihiro! As a NICA Alum and Coach - he knows how to make your team kit design and ordering process easy and fun! As a long time partner, Podiumwear has grown with NICA over the last six years to make their process as coach-friendly as possible. Chihiro brings his expertise to all of his NICA clients and helps overcome issues you might not even see coming! Podiumwear is proud to say he's been with them for two years, and he's only getting started. If you need someone in your corner - shoot Chihiro a message at chihiro@podiumwear.com and they can start making your team kit order as easy as taking your bike off the rack. Check out their custom, Made in Minnesota gear at: https://www.podiumwear.com

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Thank You PNW Components

A special shoutout goes to PNW Components this month for their generous donation. PNW thinks that “bikes are made for the sheer fun they add to our lives” and we couldn’t agree with them more! Thank you PNW Components for supporting more kids on bikes so that our community can share that fun too!

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NICA exists by virtue of our generous sponsors, boosters, foundation partners and individual donors.

We are extremely grateful for your continued support of our mission to build strong minds, bodies, character and communities through cycling. Consider supporting NICA or your favorite league today and help us impact the future of cycling!

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