The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a youth development organization governing high school mountain biking in the United States, announced Arizona, New York and Tennessee as the three newest states in its high school cycling program at a press conference during the annual Interbike trade show in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Doug Selee, executive director of NICA, said, "We are pleased to welcome the Arizona, New York and Tennessee leagues into the flourishing NICA community. The three new league directors bring with them a great passion for mountain biking and youth development. Moving forward, our national NICA team will provide training and support as they prepare for their inaugural seasons in 2013."
These new leagues represent a major step toward NICA's mission of bringing high school mountain biking coast to coast by 2020.
The Arizona league adds to the NICA activity in southwestern USA, while the Tennessee and New York leagues create substantial east coast footprints and will help develop future leagues in their respective regions.
Mike Perry, director of the Arizona league, said, "We look forward to working with NICA to bring organized high school mountain bike racing to Arizona. Our state affords diverse venue opportunities, from Sonoran desert landscapes to forested regions, all with ample infrastructure to support racing."
Jason Cairo, director of the New York league, said, "I am passionate about getting kids on bikes, so the opportunity to partner with NICA is huge for us in New York. The journey is already beginning for our coaches and we will be on fire and ready for our spring 2013 races."
Katherine Williams, director of the Tennessee league, said, "When living in California, some of my favorite memories are coaching with the NorCal league. After moving back to Tennessee to open a bicycle shop, I was thrilled to learn that Tennessee could have a program just like NorCal and that others here had a similar goal. High school cycling is truly becoming a National movement!"