ABOUT

The Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League is a non-profit 501(c)3 NICA Project League. The league promotes interscholastic mountain bike races for middle & high school students in Virginia and provides structured training programs for prospective coaches, riders, and school officials. The League is open to any middle or high school students in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Watch video to learn more about NICA VA and interscholastic mountain bike racing. 

Founded in 2009, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) develops high school mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. NICA provides leadership, services and governance for local leagues to produce quality mountain bike events, and supports every student-athlete in the development of strong body, strong mind and strong character through their efforts on the bike. With the addition of NICA Virginia High School Cycling League, NICA continues towards the goal of being coast to coast by 2020. 

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (“NICA”) will develop high school mountain biking coast-to-coast by 2020, as well as:

  • Promote athlete skills development, excellence, teamwork, professionalism and respect for the community and the environment;
  • Promote the sport of mountain biking and the benefits of mountain biking as a healthy, low impact, outdoor recreational lifestyle;
  • Provide national leadership and governance through comprehensive policies, rules and guidelines to establish fair rules of play and codes of conduct;
  • Provide comprehensive Coaches Training and Licensing program to establish and maintain national standards and best practices;
  • Provide comprehensive risk management guidelines for mountain bike programming to establish and maintain national standards and best practices;
  • Provide technical assistance and support for League formation, team formation, races, camps and special events;
  • Provide successful models of League development, sustainable fiscal growth, and corporate and individual donor development;
  • Advocate for the environmental conservation of natural areas and parklands, mountain bike trail access, and the development of sustainable trail systems.

READ 2014 Annual Report to learn more about National Interscholastic Cycling Association. 

 
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A Great Organization

NICA is a youth development organization that provides leadership, governance, financial and programmatic support to develop and promote middle and high school (grades 7-12) mountain biking leagues throughout the United States. With a professional staff led by a committed board of directors, NICA exists to enable every American teen to strengthen mind, body and character by participating in an interscholastic mountain bike racing experience that is co-ed, inclusive and equal. Every action that NICA takes is guided by five core principles that are fundamental to the “NICA Way”.

These principles are:

  • Inclusive: All student-athletes participate 100% of the time. No one is “benched” and everyone is encouraged to try racing, irrespective of how fast – or slow – they may be.
  • Equal: All student-athletes are treated equally. Team scores are a combination points scored by both boys and girls.
  • Strong Body: NICA emphasizes wellness through lifestyle, nutrition and exercise. Improving physical fitness and overall wellness are at the center of NICA’s training and education.
  • Strong Mind: NICA student-athletes are students first. Our program encourages academic excellence.
  • Strong Character: All student-athletes are expected to work hard, respect others and give back to their communities. Our programs encourage and provide opportunities for trail stewardship, bicycle advocacy and mentoring. 
 

We Are Changing Lives

Unlike traditional school sports, NICA leagues provide athletic opportunity to student-athletes of all skill levels and all socioeconomic backgrounds. There are no tryouts for joining a team. Any child who wants to participate is welcome to join his or her local team. If the child does not have proper gear and cannot afford to purchase equipment necessary to participate, NICA is dedicated to providing the necessary items through our network of community based gear donation centers and scholarships.

 

 

 

“Being a part of NICA has been life changing for me and I’m hearing from countless parents, student-athletes and coaches from across the state who all feel the same way. Keep up the good work and know that what you are doing is making a difference!!!”

Eddie Freyer, Director Alabama League

 

 
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RE-THINKING INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETICS

NICA has shown that cycling can be used by schools to effectively engage adolescents to help them confront and overcome the difficulties of growing-up in today’s complicated world. Moreover, by working with well trained coaches to set and achieve physically and mentally demanding goals through a sport that can be enjoyed both competitively and recreationally well past high school, NICA is equipping today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders both on and off the bike.

 

 

“Why are we still telling students to sit on the sidelines when every athlete deserves to compete. NICA develops these athletes as good as any other organization and gives them the tools to be fit for life.”

Scott Craft, Athletic Director Rim of the World High School, California

 

STUDENT-ATHLETE

EXPERIENCE

NICA is providing an extremely high quality experience to a very diverse array of coaches and student-athletes across the country. In doing so, NICA is transforming adolescents into dedicated cyclists who benefit in a wide variety of ways ranging from:

  • Improved test scores, grades, and time management skills;  
  • Boosted concentration, memory and classroom behavior;  
  • Increased self-confidence  
  • Strengthened social and cooperative skills, such as teamwork and problem solving;
  • Reduced anxiety and stress.
 

COACHING 

EXPERIENCE 

NICA’s coach licensing program is also providing the tools and support necessary for adults to serve as coaches and mentors to adolescents in their community and, in doing so, enables them to build meaningful connections within their communities. With 40% more coaches than last year, the program continues to attract new participants rapidly.

“He has become a completely different person and his confidence, self esteem and body language have soared! His transformation is possibly the greatest coaching achievement I have ever accomplished.”

Ken Mozak, Head Coach San Ramon Valley High School, California

 
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NICA

COMMUNITY

The number and diversity of student-athletes, licensed coaches, volunteers and supporters continues to grow at an incredible rate within the existing NICA leagues while the interest from new regions wanting to join NICA is not abating. In five years, NICA has created a movement that is gaining significant traction as more and more communities learn that cycling can be used to improve physical and mental health, provide mobility independence, build camaraderie amongst those that participate all while providing opportunities to get outside and have fun! 

 
 

BUSINESS         

PROSPERS 

Local businesses as well as NICA’s partners and sponsors enjoy the benefits of NICA’s growth. Hotels, restaurants, and bike shops notice increased traffic and sales. NICA’s supporters gain constant exposure. 

 

FAMILIES 

BENEFIT

NICA student-athletes inspire their parents and siblings to get involved. Parents volunteer and resume or begin riding. Siblings provide support and represent the future of NICA.

 
 
 
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LEAGUES

NICA has established leagues in high schools in 14 states including California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Georgia, New York, Alabama, Virginia, and Nevada. 

 

5006

STUDENT-ATHLETES

Across the country, NICA student-athletes learn the skills and discipline of riding, training, teamwork, goal setting, and giving back.

 

1915

COACHES

NICA licensed coaches create teams integrated within high schools and provide mentoring, instruction, training, oversight, and race support for student-athletes. 

 

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TEAMS & CLUBS 

The teams and clubs train and support the development of student-athletes to honorably represent their school, themselves, and each other.

 

NICA

FACTS

The statistics of NICA’s growth and impact tell a compelling story. Under NICA’s leadership, organized interscholastic cycling is helping both today’s youth and adult coaches become healthier and more engaged members of their communities. Interestingly, these statistics are remaining consistent even as the total number of participants increases quickly across the country. 

 

97%

of non-graduating student-athletes are going to participate again next season.

100%

Team commitment toward trail etiquette and stewardship

96%

Of student-athletes reported safe and inclusive team environments thanks to NICA licensed coaches

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88%

Of NICA student-athletes report improved physical fitness as a result of participation.

78%

Of student-athletes say that their respect for other trail users and the environment increased.

67%

Growth in the number of female student athletes participating in NICA.

1.39Mil.

Total hours of student-athlete participation in 2014.

73%

Of student-athletes report their participation in the league inspired family/friends to start riding bikes. 

 

89%

Of participants have a GPA of 3.1 or greater.

 

60%

Growth in registered student-athletes from 2013.

4.2 of 5

Was the average score given to rate the level of camaraderie at races. 

 

DONATE

GET MORE KIDS ON BIKES

Race entry fees only cover 35% of annual League expenses. Your donations provide the necessary funding to fulfill our mission. 

SPONSOR

JOIN THE REVOLUTION 

Become Virginia Interscholastic Cycling League sponsor. Partner with us to improve health and wellness in Virginia through cycling.