DIRTY WHEELS: The Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Youth Crew is a program the MTB club is running with some local high schools and getting great results from riders on and off the tracks.
DIRTY WHEELS: The Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Youth Crew is a program the MTB club is running with some local high schools and getting great results from riders on and off the tracks.

Mountain biking on school curriculum

RIPPING around a mountain bike track is not something you equate with formal education, but for a number of innovative local high schools, its definitely on the curriculum.

In 2019 the Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Youth Crew was created after the club saw an opportunity to work with nearby high schools to support teens and students to engage in the sport.

NRDW President Lindsay Wootten, said the results have been very encouraging.

“It’s an exciting time with connection between teenagers, the club, and schools really blossoming,” he said.

“We initiated the ‘NRDW Youth Crew’ which has teen members from seven high schools: Alstonville, Byron Bay, Ballina Coast, Woodlawn, Emmanuel, Evans Head and Lindisfarne.”

Edwards said the club run a monthly ‘long’ ride to develop the students’ capacity and build club and team spirit.

“This Sunday we are off to ‘Old Tambo’ at Tambourine Mountain to explore their marvellous long downhill trails,” Wootten said.

“We are fortunate Doug Milne from Border Reivers MTB, a Level 1 MTBA coach very generously leads these rides.”

Wootten said some YC members competed at Nerang in the Schools Nationals in August and at the Gold Coast Schools Championships in September.

“These were terrific events, we will be attending again,” he said.

“The Nationals had 400 entrants from 90 schools, some travelling from as far as Tasmania, with an awesome atmosphere.”

In the Byron Bay High School term four week six newsletter, Sport Co-ordinator Mrs Kelley Caoyonan praised the eight NRDW members who put their school in 2nd place overall out of 20 schools.

“The school that won had 21 riders, more than double our team,” he said.

“It was a stellar effort, it was a great day and a fantastic effort from all the riders.”

Wootten said the club has also been meeting with club member teachers from Alstonville, Byron, Ballina Coast, Emmanuel, and Evans Head school about 2020 plans.

“This includes the building of a ‘pump track’ at one of the high schools that will be accessible to the club on weekends,” Wootten said

“And the development of a MTB subject in the curriculum to be rolled out next year at another.”


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