BERKELEY, Calif. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) is relaunching its Teen Trail Corps program. NICA Teen Trail Corps is a program that provides student-athletes the opportunity to serve and volunteer their time towards bike related advocacy activities while earning merit badges. The program is designed to provide exposure and be a gateway for NICA student-athletes into the world of advocacy. Thanks to generous support from REI and the Walton Family Foundation, NICA is relaunching the program with the hire of Phil Waidner as the new dedicated Teen Trail Corps Program Manager.
“As new riders fall in love with the sport, it’s critical they learn how to ride responsibly while also becoming effective advocates and stewards. This ensures the growth of the bike industry and improved relations amongst all trail users,” said Taldi Harrison, >REIGovernment Affairs Manager. “We are proud to partner with NICA to involve young riders in impactful stewardship efforts and connect them with the trails they love.”
The relaunch includes three stages. The first has been completed with the revamp of the Teen Trail Corp curriculum, website, and hire of a new program manager. The second stage includes the integration of the student-athlete badge tracking system, coach service hours and database of trails maintained with NICA propriety registration system, the PitZone. This will provide seamless reporting and tracking. The final stage will include spring and fall pilots in the field across NICA’s 25 leagues.
“The Teen Trail Corps program provides a framework by which NICA’s 18,500 student-athletes and 10,000 coaches can steward, give back and advocate for the trails they use in a structured program,” stated Phil Waidner, Teen Trail Corps Program Manager, “Additionally, when all four badges are earned, the status of “Teen Trail Corps Captain” is granted. This achievement can be added to college or job applications to show leadership experience and a student’s commitment to their community.”
Austin McInerny, NICA President, stated “NICA is more than the traditional interscholastic sports experience. Teen Trail Corps provides a broad range of advocacy opportunities during NICA years and beyond. We see NICA Teen Trail Corps alumni as future lobbyists, landowners, trail-builders, and NICA Coaches, staff and League Directors.”
To find out more about the NICA Teen Trail Corp program, visit https://www.nationalmtb.org/