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Photo courtesy NICA

NICA expands to 31 leagues, welcoming Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and Ohio

Four additional programs will bring youth mountain bike racing to the Midwest, upping nationwide total to 31

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) has announced Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Ohio as the four newest states to join its network of interscholastic cycling leagues. The addition of these four leagues brings the total number of NICA Leagues nationwide to 31.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Ohio to the NICA community,” said Steve Matous, NICA President.

Matous added that these new leagues bring with them extensive youth development leadership, experience and cycling talent that will enable them to build strong and successful NICA programs in their states.

Geographically, the addition of these states brings an increased NICA presence to the Midwest. With the new additions, NICA now has the capacity and infrastructure to serve nearly 80% of the country’s population, which puts them well on their way towards fulfilling their mission of providing every youth the opportunity to build strong mind, body, and character through interscholastic cycling.

Nebraska is scheduled to begin NICA race programs in Fall 2020, with Kansas scheduled for Spring 2021, and Kentucky and Ohio for Fall 2021.

The NICA National community now includes programs in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Northern California, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Southern California, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

NICA supports more than 10,000 registered volunteer coaches who are working with over 22,000 student-athletes across the United States. NICA says it’s enhanced its coach licensing and training program to provide coaches the tools and curriculum to ensure positive character and social development for youth participants.

NICA also provides an array of programs that use mountain biking as a tool for youth development. NICA’s GRiT Program, for example, strives to increase the number of female student-athletes and coaches, while NICA Teen Trail Corps enables youth to participate in trail stewardship and advocacy projects, and NICA Adventure provides experiential education through mountain biking for youth in a non-competitive environment.

“NICA is more than just racing,” added Matous. “We are creating communities where youth are empowered with mental and physical tools and skills to help them succeed on and off their bikes, now and into the future.”