I'm reaching out to make you aware of an exciting movement that's finally reached Arizona and am hoping that you’ll help spread the word. The Arizona High School Cycling League (AHSCL) is now forming and next year we'll begin producing an annual race series exclusively for high school student-athletes. As you know, traditional ball and stick sports aren't for every kid. The AHSCL gets kids outside and active, and gives them an alternative outlet to experience high school athletics, the teamwork and camaraderie that they otherwise might miss out on. Riding a mountain bike is in many cases very fun for kids right from the start. They come back and say "This is awesome. Can we do this more?"
The AHSCL is the governing body for grades 9-12 interscholastic mountain biking in the region, operating under the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). NICA currently oversees 10 leagues in nine states - California (NorCal and SoCal), Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Utah, Washington, New York, Tennessee and Arizona - and has a stated objective of being coast-to-coast by 2020. The leagues work to establish and maintain safe, quality high school mountain bike programs for student-athletes and teams from public, charter and private schools.
Participation is open to all high schools in the state that register with the league. Initially, it will be a club sport for most schools, but the ultimate goal is to become an official high school sport. There are three types of team: single school teams; composite teams (student-athletes from more than one high school in the same district or other geographic proximity); and independent riders (students whose school doesn't have a team).
The league race season will run from September thru October, and begin in the fall of 2013 with a four race series. Planned venues are in greater Phoenix (2), Prescott and Tucson. Courses are typically 4-6 miles in length, and the number of laps varies depending upon the category; boys and girls compete in freshmen, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity categories.
We are actively seeking potential coaches, families and student-athletes and I would appreciate it if you'd forward this message to your club members. Anyone interested in being involved with the league should complete the League Advocate Survey on our website. Besides getting folks in our email database, it’s a useful tool to help connect likeminded people in the same area.
And one last ask... It would also help broaden league awareness if you would like us on Facebook; plus you'd stay in the know with all the latest news.
Thank you for your support.
Mike Perry | Executive Director
Arizona High School Cycling League