NICA youth mountain biking league coming to Ohio

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 9:27 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A new youth sports league is coming to Ohio, and a chapter is opening right here in Northwest Ohio.

Practices will start this summer for Ohio’s brand new National Interscholastic Cycling Association, or NICA.

“No kids sit on the bench, everyone gets a chance to ride. It’s a great family thing. It’s a great community. And that’s what we’re looking to build,” says local NICA coach and Toledo Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) board member Gari Liacopoulos.

Local biking enthusiasts have been working for two years to get the league up and running. They say biking is something that anyone can do, and it encourages kids to build healthy habits and get out of the house.

“Mountain biking is a lifelong sport. Unlike stick-and-ball, where it’s kinda hard to do that your whole life,” says NICA coach and TAMBA board member Gino Torio.

Biking can be appealing to kids not interested in other sports while being accessible, practical, and positive.

“Imagine you’re on the course riding. You’re racing, and then you go by 100, 200 people that are all cheering for you,” says Jen Malik, league director for NICA Ohio.

Official sign-ups start on March 1, but you can get more information in the local chapter or express your interest ahead of time by visiting TAMBA’s website.

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