Berkeley, Calif. – National outdoor specialty retailer REI has partnered with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) to inspire and empower today’s youth to become effective trail advocates and stewards through the Teen Trail Corps initiative (#teentrailcorps). By teaching young mountain bikers to demonstrate respect, empathy and compassion toward fellow trail users and the environment, the Teen Trail Corps initiative is aimed at equipping teenagers with the tools, knowledge and confidence to become future leaders both on and off the bike.
The program is built around IMBA’s key tenets of “speak, build, respect, ride.” NICA student-athletes will earn badges in each of those respective areas before gaining the status of “Trail Captain.” Trail Captains will then be eligible for recognition at the NICA Awards Banquet and other season-long events.
NICA Executive Director Austin McInerny said, “With the exploding number of young mountain bikers entering the sport through NICA’s growing interscholastic cycling programs—over 7,500 students participating this past year in 15 leagues across 14 states—it is critical that we educate them on how to responsibly ride while also empowering them to be effective advocates and stewards; it’s necessary to ensure the growth of the sport, the bike industry, and to help ensure improved relations amongst all trail users. REI takes outdoor stewardship seriously and is making our collaboration with IMBA on this important initiative possible.”
“From urban bike parks to epic mountain trails, IMBA is at the forefront of building, sustaining and advocating to ensure riders of all ages and abilities have great places to ride,” said Taldi Walter, REI community affairs program manager. “Partnering with IMBA and NICA is a great opportunity to involve younger riders in impactful stewardship efforts and connect them with the trails they love.”
To learn more about the Teen Trail Corp visit www.teentrailcorps.org