The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a youth development organization governing interscholastic mountain biking in the United States, announced Wisconsin as the newest state in its growing nationwide program.
With the announcement slated for a Friday evening dinner at the Frostbike event in Minnesota, NICA executive director Austin McInerney said, "This is our 11th league and it is a very significant step forward for the NICA community in several ways. First of all, thanks to Trek Bicycle, one of our largest and most long-standing sponsors, for the special contribution that kickstarted this league."
"We are honored to partner with the long-running and highly respected Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS), and to be working with them to add school-based cycling teams and events. Being adjacent to our successful Minnesota League, the new Wisconsin program creates potential for cooperation as we have seen with our two long-running California leagues. Wisconsin and Minnesota between them will soon become a major force with far-reaching influence."
Brandon Buth of Trek Bicycle said, "At Trek, we're elated to bring dedicated middle and high-school mountain bike racing to Wisconsin. We've worked for a long time to make this happen, and we're thrilled to help NICA realize their vision of coast-to-coast mountain biking by 2020."
In the fall of 2013, WORS ran a successful state high school championship outside the NICA umbrella, but this fall it will run a four-race series as the NICA Wisconsin High School Cycling League.
In the Wisconsin League's inaugural series, up to 200 student athletes are expected to participate from 15 - 20 teams situated across the state, including teams from La Crosse, Eau Claire, Hayward, Wausau, Appleton, Kenosha, and Jefferson.
Don Edberg, the founder of WORS and president of the new Wisconsin League, said, "We look forward to working with NICA to grow organized high school mountain bike racing in Wisconsin and to help spread it throughout the Midwest. This is a great opportunity for high school students to join in inclusive sports teams where nobody gets benched, kids engage in a healthy lifelong activities, and have a lot of fun in the process. Prospective team coaches looking to get in at the ground level of this league are invited to join us for the first Leaders' Summit, April 26-27 at the Trek Bicycle headquarters in Waterloo."
NICA has over 1,000 licensed coaches who are working with approximately 3,000 student-athletes in the USA, giving a favorable overall supervision ratio of one adult to three student-athletes.