Do You Remember Your First Leaders Summit?

Do You Remember Your First Leaders Summit?

Lauren Duensing, VP Programs

West Virginia and Maryland hosted their inaugural Leader’s Summits this March. These benchmark events represent the culmination of months of dedicated hard work by their League Directors and core staff in parallel with national staff.

I have attended many “first” summits in my career at NICA. I am always struck by the passion in the room and the transformation of coaches throughout the weekend as they learn and embrace the unique NICA coaching philosophy and are equipped at many levels to start and nurture new teams. There are many historical firsts in an inaugural season as interscholastic cycling launches in a new state with the first Leaders’ Summit, many first team practices, the first race and many more new events.

West Virginia Leaders’ Summit Participants

Maryland Leaders’ Summit Participants

Last May my husband and I attended the California State Championship in Sonoma County. California is the only state with two NICA Leagues and the final race of the season is something to behold. NorCal is celebrating its 18th season and SoCal its 10th season! As we approached the championship venue by car, we rounded a vineyard corner and suddenly the event crested and was in full view. A wave of excitement and magnitude immediately came over me. I was reminded of the enormous impact the first race had on me as a parent watching and experiencing interscholastic mountain biking with our son. That day began many life changing experiences for our family.

Each year our student-athletes graduate and new siblings and new families come into the NICA story. They have their first experiences which are just as impactful and new whether they are in a seasoned league or in a new league. Congratulations West Virginia and Maryland on your hard work. You have brought many cycling beginnings and adventures to your state!

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