In 2013, Kate Courtney was a student-athlete entering college. She graduated from Stanford in 2017 and started racing full-time later that year. Now, the former world cross-country MTB champion wants to help others who also want to balance bike racing and academics.
“I know from experience that the transition to college as a student-athlete is often difficult and wanted to create this scholarship as a way to help with the challenges of balancing college studies and racing,” Courtney said.
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On Thursday, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) announced a new scholarship created by Courtney, who is a NICA NorCal alumna. The Sparkle On Scholarship presented by Kate Courtney in partnership with Scott, Syncros, SRAM, and RockShox will recognize student-athletes who have demonstrated academic and athletic excellence during their time with NICA and plan to attend college and continue mountain bike racing.
The Sparkle On Scholarship will be awarded to four high school seniors from NICA leagues and consist of a monetary award of $10,000 each and mentorship in the form of quarterly calls with Courtney during their first year of college and career mentoring through SRAM. Those recipients without a bike sponsor and who commit to race on Scott for the year will also receive a Scott mountain bike.
“We’re very excited to help support young talents on their journey as racers,” said Jochen Haar, the head of bike marketing for Scott Sports. “Professional racing is part of our heritage here at Scott and Syncros, and it’s in the DNA of all our products. We believe that bringing more people, and especially young people, a program such as NICA is ideal and worth supporting. With one of our most iconic athletes, Kate Courtney, opening doors and paving the way for NICA talents, we couldn’t be happier to help see this scholarship come to life and to help support the future generation of racers.”
The Sparkle On Scholarship is open to NICA student-athletes graduating high school who will attend college for the 2021-22 academic year and who are seeking to balance mountain bike racing with college studies. More information will be available about the Sparkle On Scholarship specifics on March 1st.