The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) has partnered with TrueSport, the US Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) initiative to provide educational opportunities and implement programs for the NICA community that aim to help students develop as athletes while fostering a culture of clean competition and integrity in cycling.
Together, NICA and TrueSport are delivering a range of programming to high school cycling league athletes, their coaches, and parents that encourages a lifetime of fair competition, making healthy choices, positive behaviors, and a focus on fun, beginning at an early age.
Austin McInerny, NICA's executive director, said, "This partnership brings together two synergistic missions that focus on developing not just good athletes, but good students, and good people. We're pleased to expand our NICA offerings through this collaboration to further support our mission of helping young student-athletes develop strong bodies, minds, and character."
The collaboration kicks off by equipping NICA member coaches with the TrueSport coaching education course, enabling them to expand their continuing education knowledge base. The course is a self-guided, online series of three modules, accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education (NCACE), includes a library of additional resources for enhanced and ongoing learning. Modules cover the topics of: Developing a Coaching Philosophy and Ethics; Understanding Supplements and Energy Drinks; and Navigating Performance-Enhancing Substances.
Travis T. Tygart, USADA's chief executive officer, said, "This type of grassroots impact is exactly what USADA envisioned in creating the TrueSport initiative. Reaching out to young athletes such as the NICA league cyclists at an early phase in their lives, providing them with tools and skills for healthy decision-making and values-system development, and providing key education on nutrition, the wild world of supplements, and performance-enhancing substances, helps shape a future culture for sport that sets the next generations up for real success."
Some of the additional initiatives planned for the collaboration include:
- contributing expert content for the NICA coaches manual, as well as coaching curriculum tools to be used for sport and life training on and off the trail/road/track,
- providing TrueSport publications, as well as online and interactive resources, for parents, coaches, and athletes to support the ideals of NICA and TrueSport in developing healthy and ethical life choices, as well as strong bodies, strong minds and strong character,
- delivering timely, relevant and valuable information on these key themes through NICA coaches newsletters, member publications, and social media,
- partnering on TrueSport Athlete Ambassador appearances and presentations by well-known cyclists, featuring profound stories of athletic and personal journeys, and
- teaming up at competitions and events to bring TrueSport materials and philosophies to young competitors and their parents, coaches, trainers, and other entourage members.