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March 2024 Coach Newsletter

The 2024 Season is fast approaching Coaches!

With that in mind, there are several things you have all asked about, we have discussed on coach calls (Find the most recent agenda here and Find the recording of the call here – Passcode: $0yh*q!6) and want to make sure you are aware of as we move into this new year.

In this newsletter, we discuss a few topics surrounding the season and, my friends, this is a big one: 

  • TTC Hours Update
  • 101 and 201 Sign Ups
  • Online Leaders Summit
  • Grit Grants Open Now  
  • Grit Gear Requests Open
  • Pitzone Dates
  • Outreach Opportunities
  • Pathfinder Scholarships
  • Coach Conference dates
  • 5th Grade Inclusion Info meeting

TTC Hours update:

Remember, Teen Trail Corps Hours can be captured starting January 1st, 2024. Head Coaches and Directors will need to track their team’s hours until Pitzone opens for athletes on April 1st, 2024.

101 and 201 Offerings: 

Online Leaders Summit: 

If you or anyone you know is working towards their Level 3 Coach License, they will need to attend one of the Online Leader’s Summits below!
Online Leaders Summit Opportunities

  • February 12-15
  • February 19-22
  • March 4-7
  • May 6-9
  • May 20-23 

 

Grit Grants Open Now: 

NICA’s Girls Riding Together (GRiT) initiative is partnering with Kate Courtney and the She Sends Foundation to get more girls to get on bikes than ever before.  

The She Sends Foundation was created in 2023 by Kate Courtney, a former NICA athlete and one of the most powerful female racers on the World Cup racing circuit. She Sends is using community, connection, and collective action to build a vibrant future for more girls on bikes, and has joined NICA as the new presenting partner of the GRiT Grants Program. 

NICA’s GRiT initiative is our intentional effort to give more women and girls access to the transformative power of mountain biking, and has increased the percentage of female student athletes in NICA by 5% over the last 5 years.  

The GRiT Grants Program funds direct efforts to get more girls and women on bikes. New for 2024, teams can apply for direct funding for grassroots recruitment and leadership development for female athletes and coaches. 

Learn more about this partnership and apply for funding here 

League and team  application open on March 5th 2024

Team awards will be announced in late April and May 

NICA GRiT Grants for Teams Overview 

Link to NICA GRiT Grant application for Teams 

 

Thanks for everything that you do to get more women and girls on bikes. What you are doing truly matters to the communities that you serve. That hard work and dedication that you put into your programs ripples out far beyond what we can observe. 

 

We are moving the needle in terms of female participation in NICA and your recruitment efforts are essential to continue the movement!

Grit Gear Requests Open:

Female student athletes in need of cycling gear! Your coaches can make a request for this gear using this form: Grit Gear Requests

 

Pitzone Dates: 

Pitzone is open for Coaches as of March 1st!

Pitzone will open for Athletes on April 1st.

 

Outreach Opportunities From Coordinator Bob Ocken: 

This year the league is going to a year round model for Outreach. Our plan is to do more events and connect more communities to the NICA mission. More Kids on Bikes. The model will help us reach more segments within the communities. For example, more girls with GRIT as well as more communities that are under-represented in our state. We can not accomplish this without more volunteers. We have an ask. We need more incredible humans to help host our 1 day events. Our goal is to host 10 outreach events in 2024.  If you are interested in helping or joining our Outreach Team, please contact: 

Bob Ocken bob@arkansasmtb.org

501-663-1868.

 

Pathfinder Scholarships:
These scholarships are to grow diversity in the sport of cycling and provide access for people of color (POC). While you are looking to get #morekidsonbikes NICA wants to make sure that people of all backgrounds are able to access the sport of cycling. To help, NICA has the Pathfinder Scholarships that open on February 15th and close on March 15th. 

These scholarships are open to riders from 5th-12th grade!

 

New for 2024 we are a pilot league for 5th Grade Inclusion

We are hosting an information session to provide an overview of the support, coaching resources and guidance you will receive from NICA and your league should you be interested in opening your team to 5th graders. Please join us in a zoom meeting March 13th at 8pm central for a high-level overview of the 5th grade inclusion standards and guidelines. We’ll preview the content we have to support your teams, and also provide time to answer any questions. 

*Our assumption is 5th graders would join your existing team structure and not have any separate/different programming. 

*Please note that including 5th graders on your team is entirely optional! 

Please register using your pit zone email address for the zoom session using the following link.  

* All coaches that participate in the session will receive 1 CEU.

Meeting Registration – Zoom

 

Coach Conference Dates:

Last but not least, I want to be the first to formally invite you to the 2024 Coaches Conference being held on June 7th-9th (location TBA)! We would love to have representatives from every team as we work to build not only a culture at the league level, but also cascade that to every team across the state as we build a place for #morekidsonbike and #morecoachesonbikes 🤘

Cheers,

Josh and the Arkansas NICA Team

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