Posted by Carla Parker
Football, basketball and baseball have always been the more popular sports with fans and the sports that children often want to play.
There are other sports that have gained popularity with children over the years such as soccer, tennis and lacrosse; and there is another sport that is gaining interest–mountain biking.
In 2013, the Georgia High School Cycling League was organized to provide competitive mountain biking programs for students in grades nine to 12. The league is under the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), which oversees all the leagues in the United States. There are 15 leagues in 14 states, including Georgia.
Dan Brooks, executive director of the Georgia High School Cycling League, organized the league to introduce children to a sport they can do for a lifetime.
“One of the biggest attractions to me is the fact that this is a life-long sport. You can ride a bike for your whole life,” he said. “One of the coolest developments we see in our league is when one student starts riding their brother or sister starts riding with them and then the family gets into it. It then goes from an activity that one of the kids will do to an activity that the entire family can do together. It’s just a great way for families to spend time together.”
The league has grown since its establishment and now has 21 teams with 248 riders. One of those teams is North DeKalb Mountain Bike. The team was formed in April by two parents, Richard Mansker and Mike Hatten.
“We have six kids on the team and they’re all middle school students,” Mansker said.
The team consists of Mansker and Hatten’s children as well as other children from the Lakeside area.
“Anybody from the central/northern part of DeKalb can easily get to us,” Mansker said. “We practice a couple of nights a week and on Saturdays we go out to one of the trail systems and do a longer ride.”
photo credit: Champion News Paper.