Canadian Cyclist


April 1/03 4:34 am - Sprockids/CCA National Introduction to Cycling Program for Kids Launched

Posted by Editoress on 04/1/03

National Introduction to Cycling Program Piloted for Kids!
Courtesy Al Roberts

After thirteen years of dedicating his spare time and hours to the Sprockids Program, founder, and teacher, Doug Detwiller, witnessed his dreams step it up to the next level within Canada last weekend.

"I've always wanted to take the program to the next level. I'm a teacher, and I work with kids and that's my passion, that's what I want to do."

The launching of the Sprockids/Canadian Cycling Association's (CCA) National Introduction to Cycling Program (NICP) was official this past Saturday, March 29, 2003. The launch party was hosted by Detwiller, in Gibsons, BC.

The program will be piloted throughout 2003, and hosted by five of seven, National Development Centres across the country. Cycling BC will also be assisting the pilot by helping five sites start up their programs throughout the province.

The Sprockids program allows the integration of mountain biking into the elementary school curriculum. Teachers are given instruction and lesson plans on how to relate mountain biking to a variety of school subjects. Besides school topics, kids are taught, among others, life skills, leadership skills, values, and responsibility.

The Sprockids program successfully teamed up with the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) in 2001. Through that partnership, IMBA Sprockids has been introduced to kids in over 12 different countries.

In an IMBA press release, Sprockids founder Doug Detwiller explains. "Sprockids is about kids - kids having fun on mountain bikes and building self esteem∑Kids today want to be part of something and they want to be active. Sprockids gives them something to belong to and reaches out to kids our schools might miss with their more traditional sports offerings."

The Sprockids/CCA NICP will focus on children ages 9-12, and the philosophy of the program will be evident within the Canada-wide initiatives.

Several representatives from around the country were present for the special occasion. Among them was Dieppe, New Brunswick, National Development Centre Head Coach, Luc Arseneau. Speaking of the need of such a program, Arsenault is excited about its' potential. "There's a big gap, at the fundamental level (of cycling), and Sprockids is the answer."

Sprockids Graeme Bant, a Grade Eight student and Grade Two ride leader, shared his views on the Sprockids program at the launch as well. "It's good that they have it - a lot of my friends, they don't get out much. So, they come to Sprockids, they come out, and they like it a lot." Bant has been in the program for three years, was second in the under 15 men XC BC Cup series last year and has been racing for Steed Cycles for two seasons. He aims to be the top rider in his category. At thirteen years old, Bant has also become a ride leader for his school's grade two group rides, through the Sprockids program.

Following the spring and summer programs of 2003, the pilot leaders of each region will meet in the fall to review the outcome of the year's results. Changes and recommendations will be made. Following that meeting, the program will be fully launched in 2004 across the country.

Some Notes About the Open House:

CCA/Sprockids' Mission Statement:
"Through the sport of cycling, young people will have the opportunity to develop the skills, values and strategies that will lead them throughout their lives and enable them to successfully reach their full potential"

Gift for the CCA
A plaque of the Sprockids Logo was presented to the Canadian Cycling Association from Sprockids. The gift was beautifully carved by Sprockids rider, and Eliphinstone High School student, Houston Krohmon, 15.

Doug Detwiller and wife, Petra, hosted the launch in their backyard after the grueling group ride in the surrounding hills. The site was amazing, topped with double BBQ's fired up, and nicely grilled hamburgers waiting for all. Two tents were set up to keep everyone dry in the inevitable BC rain.

Overheard at the Sprockids Launch BBQ:
"Wow. I can't believe how many people are here today, even in the rain!"
"Believe it. If Doug's organizing things, there's always a crowd!"

For more information:
Sprockids Official Site:
Sprockids/CCA's NICP:
IMBA Sprockids:

Photos to follow.


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