With the official launch of NICA's Girls Riding Together (GRiT) program - we wanted to catch up with one of our student-athletes who has been involved with GRiT program activities in her local league!
Meet Louisa - a 6th grader with the Georgia Interscholastic Cycling League. Louisa rides for the Gilmer Cartecay Composite Team (aka Team Cartecay) and is a GRiT Ambassador for the Georgia League this season!
We caught up with Louisa to learn about her experience with NICA GRiT and why she's excited about #moregirlsonbikes!
How did you first get involved with your local team, the Georgia League and their GRiT Program?
Last year my parents learned about the Georgia League through friends at church and asked my brother and I how we would like to be on a bike team. Our area did not have a team, so my family established a team for our county and the surrounding area. During race weekends, I got to meet other girls who were riding mountain bikes, and our league hosted GRiT rides during the race weekends. I had the opportunity to join in on those rides, meet other female racers and female professional cyclists.
What is your favorite thing about GRiT?
Riding my mountain bike with other girls! Sharing the experience of enjoying the woods, mountains and streams with my girlfriends!
Has GRiT positively influenced you off the bike?
Yes! I get to build relationships with other student-athletes, which means I also get to do other activities with new friends. I have the opportunity to share my excitement for the sport with girls that are not on my team, and I spend a good deal of time trying to get other girls to join me on the trail! It gives me a platform to practice my public speaking and persuasion skills!
How did joining GRiT activities change your experience with NICA?
GRiT helped me connect with other teams in the league, their student-athletes and learn their perspectives on the league.
What advice would you give new girls across the country who are thinking about joining their local NICA team?
Do not be afraid to go out there and ride! At first everything looks impossible, but once you begin riding, you will enjoy the thrill of biking and the beauty of the surroundings. You sometimes have to be brave at first as you may be one of the only girls on your team, but your bravery will encourage other girls to do the same - which will create a revolution of female mountain bikers, after all, we were made to ride! My team grew from one female rider to TEN in one year!
Why did you want to be a GRiT ambassador?
I love to ride and I want to ride with other girls!
Anything else you'd like to share with us about your NICA GRiT experience?
A BIG thank you to Coach Dawn Chandler, who leads the Georgia League's GRiT program! It takes a dedicated person to lead a revolution and care about creating an environment to foster young female athletes.