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League Director's Note

In Celebration of Women’s History Month, this month we have a special guest welcome note from Arkansas League Director, Kyla Templeton

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Arkansas League Director, Kyla Templeton. Photo: Arkansas League

Dear Team NICA -

Happy Women’s History Month! This month it’s been fun and exciting to hear about all the ways women and girls are making a positive impact on our NICA Community. As one of NICA’s female League Directors, I’m thrilled to be part of a community where there are so many strong women furthering our mission of getting #morekidsonbikes AND #moregirlsonbikes.

Empowering women and girls on the bike is and has always been a focus for me. My first foray into cycling advocacy and strengthening the local cycling community was through Girls Bike Bentonville - a women’s road biking group. Girls Bike Bentonville created a community of women riders, which is often the key to getting women on bikes. It also helped teach local women to paceline, ride in large groups and also focused on triathlon riding and transitions all while developing a welcoming community for female athletes.

NICA launched its Girls Riding Together (GRiT) initiative in 2018 when we were hosting NICA’s National Conference in Bentonville, Arkansas. GRiT’s goal is to increase female participation in NICA programs to 33% by 2023. We do this mostly by creating community, the same thing we did in Girls Bike Bentonville years ago. In Arkansas, we’ve increased our female participation by 5% in the past year and are looking forward to launching our GRiT Ambassador program this year. NICA’s GRiT Ambassador program plays a key role in recruiting and mentoring new female student-athletes. GRiT Ambassadors aim to engage female student-athletes in spreading the word about GRiT, to empower student-athletes to learn about leadership, raise awareness to get #moregirlsonbikes and be a local advocate for their League’s GRiT program.

Whether on the road or on the trail - it’s exciting to be a part of a community of strong women who are working hard to empower even MORE strong women and girls to make their mark on the world through the bicycle. Check in with your local league - as there are a lot of cool things happening across the country - we’ve got GRiT Ambassadors, clinics, Zoom meetings connecting our student-athletes across leagues and the GRiT-inspired podcast, Girls Moving Mountains from Ohio League Director Jen Malik and SoCal Programs Manager, Nikki-Jo Peterson highlighting rad women and girls in our community. So let’s keep the momentum going and get out there and get #moregirlsonbikes!

Happy Riding!
Kyla

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What's New Across NICA

Congratulations to the 2021 NICA Award Recipients!

We are THRILLED to announce the recipients of the 2020 NICA Awards! The NICA Awards are presented across eleven categories to individuals who have been nominated by their peers as the most outstanding student-athletes, dedicated coaches and most supportive volunteers and sponsors that have contributed to the youth cycling movement during the past year. Click HERE to meet the 2020 NICA Award winners!

NICA Safety Tip of the Month: Stay Informed on Concussion Symptoms and Recovery Practices

Concussion awareness and training is an important part of coach training and NICA Coach licensing requirements include annual concussion awareness training. NICA Partner TeachAids is using the power of community to support concussion education, awareness, sharing of experiences and recovery through their Concussion Story Wall. This interactive database has 700+ individual’s stories sharing their concussion experiences and is intended as a comprehensive mental health resource for those who have experienced concussions as well as their families, coaches and teammates. An additional highlight is a panel of 14 of the world’s leading medical expertsaddressing specific aspects of concussions related to symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

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Scholarship Deadlines Approaching - LAST CALL!

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Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

The Sparkle On Scholarship Application Closes 3/31

Calling all graduating seniors headed to college in the fall that would love to continue racing! The application period for The Sparkle On Scholarship presented by Kate Courtney in partnership with Scott, Syncros, SRAM, and RockShox closes at the end of the day March 31st. It’s not too late to get your application in for consideration!

The Scholarship will be awarded to four seniors from NICA leagues and consist of a monetary award of $10,000 each, mentorship in the form of quarterly calls with Kate during their first year of college and career mentoring through SRAM. Those recipients without a bike sponsor and committing to race on Scott for the year will also receive a Scott mountain bike. The Sparkle On Scholarship is open to NICA student-athletes graduating high school who will attend college for the 2021-22 academic year and who are seeking to balance mountain bike racing with college studies. You can find the application and FAQs HERE.

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Photo: Alabama League

Trek/NICA Pathfinders Scholarship Application Closes 4/15

Trek has partnered with NICA to grow diversity in the sport of cycling and provide better access for diverse and underrepresented youth. The Trek/NICA Pathfinders Scholarship will provide 250 kids from underrepresented communities across the country with the gear and funds they need to ride and race in their local NICA mountain bike league. Applications are currently being accepted for teams and student-athletes who will participate in a Fall 2021 NICA League. Learn more and apply today HERE!

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If You Give a Girl a Bike

"If you give a girl a bike, she will ride and ride and ride." When you give a girl a bike - there's no end to the adventures she'll have! Check out this rad new book, If You Give a Girl a Bike, from author Hayley Diep about all the fun things that happen when you're open for adventure! PLUS when you order and select NICA - 10% of the proceeds will go to help get #morekidsonbikes and #moregirlsonbikes! Get your copy today HERE!

Girls Moving Mountains Podcast

Don't forget to tune into Girls Moving Mountains Podcast for a new episode every other Wednesday! This GRiT-inspired podcast focuses on recruiting female student-athletes and coaches into mountain biking while building a supportive community across the nation. Learn more HERE.

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Emma Hurst

Emma and her teammates enjoying a ride

GRiT, Enthusiasm, and Resilience - Meet Idaho Student-Athlete, Emma Hurst

Emma Hurst is an Idaho League GRiT Ambassador and stand-out student-athlete on the race course and off. She was preparing for her Senior year when an accident and the pandemic sidelined her race plans, but she didn't let that stop her from continuing to ride and support her local mountain biking community. Meet Emma and hear her awesome and inspiring story HERE.

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Check out GU's Newest ROCTANE Flavor

There’s a new caffeine-free ROCTANE Energy Drink flavor in the GU Energy Labs fam! And just like the other flavors, Strawberry Hibiscus is light and easy to digest, making it the ideal fuel for your hardest training and race days. Fill up your bottle with the new Strawberry Hibiscus and get ready to SHRED!

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Giddy-Up and Climb with Rebecca Rusch

Join world-class athlete Rebecca Rusch for the Giddy Up Challenge this Memorial Day Weekend, May 28-31. Pick an elevation climb from Quarter Everest to Full Everest. All NICA student-athletes who register by April 1st will be entered to win a Be Good Foundation Training pack, including goodies from Velocio, Maxxis, SRAM, GU Energy Labs, Chamois Butter, MiiR, and BaseCamp 8-Week Training Plan. Register today HERE and use code NICAGUC21 when registering to receive 25% off!!

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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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