South Carolina Launches New Interscholastic Cycling League

2018 Upstate Shredders ride in Greenville Christmas parade. Photo: Carin Slader Wolfe

Greenville, SC - South Carolina will become one of the next states to join the NICA community. NICA, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, is a national governing body for youth mountain biking in the US. The addition of South Carolina will bring the national number of NICA state and regional leagues to 27.

South Carolina League Director, Curt Edsall, states “South Carolina is primed and ready for this type of sustainable youth programming. When my own family first enrolled with NICA four years ago we had to travel to neighboring states to compete; with the positive impacts NICA has had on my own family, I’m genuinely excited to bring NICA to all of South Carolina. The camaraderie, fitness, fun family bonding and outdoor elements associated with mountain biking are an absolute perfect pairing for families in the Palmetto State. I am thankful for all the members of the South Carolina league development team: Carin Slader Wolfe, Andrew Tierney, John Cardozo, Tim Moore, as well as Steve Baker, Samantha Smith, Eric Bost, Troy Moore, Doug Cline, Luke Barnett, Ty Houck, Josh Schaffer, and Erik Nielson. Without the time and effort of this talented and resourceful group as well as many others none of this would have happened.”

Director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources for Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Ty Houck states, “It has been impressive how much the cycling culture has grown throughout Greenville County, and even more so how NICA has filled a void for middle and high school students who may not fit into a traditional ball sport (ie. football, basketball, baseball). With its race weekend campouts and all-skill-level inclusive attitude, it’s no wonder NICA has seen double digit growth each year since inception. It is equally impressive how professional and well-developed the coach and volunteer training is from national NICA. Mark my words, the South Carolina League will be one of the foundations responsible for engaging the next generation in a lifetime enjoyment founded in ‘riding a bike’.

Austin McInerny, NICA’s president, said, “Curt Edsall is an ideal NICA league director who brings incredible project management skills and a serious love of mountain biking to the effort. He has convened a strong team of core volunteers who all share a passion for mountain biking and youth development and we are excited to work them to launch a new NICA league in South Carolina. Our national NICA staff have already started providing training and support as they work to get #morekidsonbikes in South Carolina. The addition of the ‘Palmetto State’ to the NICA movement is key as it fills a geographic void along the eastern seaboard as we continue towards our vision of providing every teenager an opportunity to be part of a thriving and engaged cycling community.”

Through its growing number of national leagues, NICA provides quality youth development and sport enrichment opportunities to over 900 middle and high-school based teams, over 19,000 student-athletes and 10,000 licensed coaches. The organization has been growing steadily since 2009, and has been experiencing over 30% year over year growth. The South Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League will provide youth-specific events and focus on educational opportunities for coaches in the upcoming year and will host its inaugural race series in the Fall 2020. Beyond 2020 the South Carolina League plans to organize adventure programs and camps, engage with NICA Teen Trail Corps and host skills clinics for both student-athletes and coaches.

Retired professional cyclist and Greenville SC resident, George Hincapie, said, “I’m certainly excited to have NICA start a league in South Carolina. I cannot think of a better way to get more kids on bikes and grow the sport of mountain biking here.”

The addition of South Carolina to the NICA network greatly increases the availability of interscholastic cycling to young cyclists in both the Southeast region and across the U.S. NICA’s growing network includes the established leagues in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Northern California, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Southern California, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Greenville City Councilmember and Upstate Shredder parent, Amy Ryberg Doyle, “Mountain biking offers a terrific opportunity for kids to experience the great natural resources -- woods and trails --that South Carolina has. Cycling can be recreational and fun -- or competitive. We, as communities, need to continue to build trails to allow more children from all communities the opportunity to explore on bikes."

The South Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League (SCICL) is currently in the Upstate and will be expanding to the Midlands, Pee Dee and Lowcountry regions. The league is actively seeking individuals who are equally passionate about creating quality outdoor opportunities for middle and high school youth of all abilities (note: mountain biking skills are not required). Volunteer opportunities exist in race production, league infrastructure, team building, trail development, league merchandise, and so much more. Interested individuals are invited to contact League Director, Curt Edsall, for more information about volunteer opportunities.

South Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League is a youth development organization providing opportunity for every 6th through 12th grader to develop fundamental life skills through mountain biking. The core principles embodied in SCICL programming are strong body, strong mind, strong character, inclusivity, and equality. SCICL league is committed to leading a generation into the outdoors, teaching them to appreciate our natural resources, and how to be good stewards of the land.

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The South Carolina League will grow with your generous support. Your donation, at any level, helps us to secure venues, cover insurance, and keep costs down for all of our teams and families. The South Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League will be an exceptional and memorable experience for generations to come. Thank you so much for your support and donation

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