Interested in learning a new sport that you or your student-athlete grades 6-12 can do the rest of their life?
The Conway Bearcats is a co-ed 6th grade through 12th grade Mountain Bike Team that competes in the Arkansas League in various cross country mountain bike races around the state. We are a fall sport with our season practices beginning in July and races starting in September through early November (4 races). Our goal and the NICA vision is to develop young student athletes through our inclusive program, to be equal, have strong minds, body and character and create life long cyclists who are conscientious, responsible and empowered. No one sits on the bench at NICA, everyone participates. Our team is a composite team which means, it's not affiliated with the local schools and is made up of students from the Conway and surrounding areas with athletes from Greenbrier, Bigelow, Conway and Conway Christian on the team.
Cost: There is an annual membership fee of $60 that covers the NICA insurance. Each coach and athlete is covered by insurance during NICA events and practices. Each race has a $25.00 entry fee. There are scholarships available and a bike loaner program if the student athlete does not have the resources needed to attend or compete.
Risk Management: Each of the Conway Bearcats Coaching staff have been through a background check, Bike 101 training, concussion and risk management training at minimum. Many coaches have CPR and/or first aid and Wilderness First Aid training. While mountain biking does have some risk involved, we work extremely hard to ensure rider safety and league risk management procedures are followed and have removed any elevated risks involved. Last year the Conway Bearcats rode over 3300 hours in practice and race events injury free.
Practices: The season starts officially July 1st, however we often do not start practices until later in July due to vacations and other events. We practice for the first several weeks at Gatlin Park in Conway and along the tucker creek trail until we get the kids into shape and are comfortable with their skills to hit the trails in the surrounding area. We do not transport your children to/from events unless special circumstances and permissions are granted and follow proper risk management procedures. Practices are held weather permitting. We do practice and race in the rain if there is no lightning or other events that would be considered unsafe. We typically practice 2 times during the week and eventually add a 3rd practice on Saturday mornings later in August. Practices are Tues/Thurs 2 hours and Saturday 2-2/12 hrs.
We had a great 2nd season last year and pride our selves on being more of a youth development group, we just happen to race bikes. There are many challenges on a bike that can help you persevere in life, in addition to it being a sport that you can keep doing well into later years.
1. A helmet
2. A Mountain bike (we have some donor bikes for student athletes that do not have a bike but are limited)
3. We have a cycling jersey that we provide to athletes for the races courtesy of sponsors. However if you would like to purchase it and keep it, they can be purchased for $65.00
If you are interested or need more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the shop and ask for Mike, our head coach, at 501-764-4500.
For more information on the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) and the Arkansas League, please click here: http://www.nationalmtb.org/
What is NICA like for student athletes: Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRxPZiGYNLg