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Sprockids Youth Challenge

May 30, 2007 – Over the course of two days, over 500 young riders from Grade 1 through 12 pitted their mountain biking skills against their peers in the annual “Sprockids Youth Challenge” and “B.C. Provincial High School Mountain Bike Championships.”

For many of these young rippers this was their first mountain bike race, and from the smiles on their faces it definitely won’t be their last! The beauty of mountain biking is that it is truly an “All Inclusive” sport where anyone can successfully participate and come away from the experience with something positive.

As for the “Magical Mystery Tour” aspect of Sprockids, you just have to experience a day with kids to discover the magic they bring to the sport!

“Sprockids Youth Challenge”
Friday May 25, 2007

This event began in the early 90s and has become an annual classic for young riders from Grades 1 to 7. The race provides elementary students the opportunity to experience mountain bike racing in a fun and festive atmosphere, where being part of the scene is what it is all about. For the more serious riders they have the opportunity to “Go For It” and test their riding skills and fitness level against their peers. The inexperienced riders, who just want to get their feet wet and find out what this whole racing scene is all about, can participate without feeling intimidated. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone, pushing one’s limits while making new friends and laughing until it hurts is why riders keep coming out to the “Sprockids Youth Challenge” year after year. The day may have revolved around mountain biking, but the feeling was more of a festive atmosphere than one of intense competition. For the top three riders in each category beautiful handmade plaques were awarded. These plaque were made by Bill Clarke and his woodworking students at Elphinstone Secondary. Everyone that participated was eligible for the many incredible draw prizes generously donated by the sponsors of the Sprockids Program. This year’s event saw something new added to the repertoire of activities. “Dance on the Diamond” took the crowd by storm. At one point in the day Bob Stanhope, our amazing MC, had close to 100 students and parents dancing to the music on the baseball diamond. From there “Spot Dances” emerged, with the crowd choosing their favourite by way of the loudest applause. It truly was a day of fun for everyone involved.

“B.C. High School Mountain Bike Championships”
Saturday May 26, 2007

This was the second time in the past three years the Sunshine Coast has played host to the B.C. High School Mountain Bike Championships, and once again the community of Halfmoon Bay put on a phenomenal event. The province of B.C. covers a lot of territory, but this didn’t dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of the participants, some who travelled over 10 hours to the race! In all, 58 schools were represented at these championships. For many of the racers, this event represented the pinnacle of their racing season. For others it was more of a social occasion, an opportunity to reunite with friends they had made at last year’s race. Once could focus on the high level of competition and intense rivalry that existed for some of the competitors, but it you looked around and really took in the atmosphere of the day you soon realised there was a lot more going on than just racing. Just like the elementary race that had happened the day before, this race was really about being part of a very unique scene, where the positive energy and camaraderie shared between human beings is really what mountain biking is all about.

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Sprockids Youth Challenge

May 22, 2006 – The sport of mountain biking was created by a small group of friends in California who wanted to ride/race their bikes down an old mountain gravel road. They weren’t doing it for medals or prize money, but rather to experience the thrill of doing something on their own terms. There weren’t a lot of rules and structure to their races, and this was one of the main attractions of these early events.

The emphasis was on having fun, and being out there with friends, pushing and testing one’s boundaries. On Friday May 19th, over 300 young riders from Grades 1 to 12 came out to the annual “Sprockids Youth Challenge” at Connor Park in Halfmoon Bay to do just that. For a lot of riders this was their first race and they were definitely “stepping out of their comfort zone.” Competition is a natural thing among humans and, if it is presented in a positive light, everyone can come away with a smile on their face and a new experience to add to their repertoire. The emphasis of this event is not on winning, but rather having fun, doing your best, and being part of something special. From the smiles, laughter, cheers, and hugs that were witnessed over the course of the day, it is very clear that these favourable goals were accomplished.





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Sprockids Youth Challenge

May 27, 2005 – Being active and having fun should be a part of everyday life. Unfortunately though, somewhere in the evolution of our modern society action, adventure and fun has moved out of the physical world and into the fantasy world of the computer screen. The concept of “athlete” has also evolved into something different. Whereas it once described any person involved in everyday sport, it now connotes something much more “elitist”. These are two significant factors when considering the deteriorating physical condition of today’s youth.

Sprockids is all about involving young people in the life long sport of mountain biking, while teaching them the skills, values, and strategies to succeed in life. One of Sprockids main focuses is to redefine the role and definition of sports in our society. Mountain biking is all inclusive! “Nobody Sits on the Bench” in our sport. Sprockids appeals to a large segment of young people, including those youth who would never consider themselves “athletes.” It is not gender specific, nor does it require some special athletic ability. Everyone can begin at their own level and immediately experience personal success. If we hope to change the mindset of a generation, this is critical. We want today’s youth to embrace the attitude that being active, in all its forms, is something we must incorporate in our daily lives. Success breeds success. If being active provides the individual with happiness, laughter, a strong sense of self esteem, camaraderie, adventure, and personal fulfillment, then it will become part of their everyday life. With this transformation, we will have succeeded!

On Thursday May 28th close to 350 young people from Grades 3 to 7 emerged on Connor Park in Halfmoon Bay, located on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. to participate in the Sprockids Youth Challenge. This event provided the young riders the opportunity to test their riding skills against their peers. For many of the participants this was their first time racing, but from the energy, enthusiasm, and skills displayed at the event they all looked like seasoned pros. The event began with the Grade 3’s, and as they lined up on the starting line their huge smiles definitely set the tone for the day. Even though these riders were small in stature, their efforts and performance were huge.

As we moved up through the grades you couldn’t help but notice that the level of intensity increased. These riders were taking their racing seriously and once the race began the riders gave it their all. While the lead riders were battled it out for a podium finish, many of the other competitors were reaching deep inside themselves for the strength and courage to complete the demanding course. Earlier that morning I had helped flagged the course and I can tell you the trails these riders had to navigate were quite technical. But here on the Sunshine Coast this is what mountain biking is all about! Uphill, downhill, rooty single track, mud, drop-offs, berms, dirt jumps, wooden bridges, creeks, and stunts. From an early age the young riders develop and hone their technical skills, and whether or not they pursue racing on a serious level, events like the Sprockids Youth Challenge give them the opportunity to experience another of life’s adventures!

Like all events of this kind many thanks go out to all the volunteers that made it happen. The cycling community here on the Sunshine Coast is a very special one, and this event once again demonstrated the spirit and camaraderie that reigns supreme here on the Coast.






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