Fritzinger Starts as NICA Executive Director
Schools Cycling Program Draws SolidI ndustry Support
BERKELEY, Calif.—Matt Fritzinger, the founder of the Northern California High School Cycling League, commences his new position as executive director of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, August 1.
The NorCal League has been used as the model for other high school cycling leagues in the USA, and Fritzinger’s transition from NorCal to National ensures a continuation of the same principles that he and members of the NorCal board of directors created and implemented over a10-year span.
Matt Fritzinger commented, “I feel a lot of personal satisfaction looking back at what we created at the NorCal League, and I stress ‘we’. The caliber of people on the NorCal board and in the organization has been outstanding from the outset, and it’s been a privilege to work with every one of them. Their wide range of progressive thinking and solid experience has driven all of this. The NorCal model has proven to be replicable, and now I’m dedicated to doing that across the USA.”
The main features of the NorCal League, some of which distinguish it from traditional high school sports, include:
- Camaraderie and friendship: there is a lot of inter-team socializing, including the sharing of training tips. Training sessions are co-ed. Parents and coaches often cheer for riders on other high school teams. There’s a feeling of all being in this together.
- It’s about racing and about having fun: national team aspirants can find the necessary competition and coaching quality within the league. But those who just want to ride bikes with their pals are welcome too.
- Parents ride too, and play other roles, but they can be on-bike course monitors: A big part of the NorCal League’s success is the degree to which parents are part of and enjoy attending and volunteering at the events.
- The sport takes students into the natural environment: they develop an appreciation of nature and responsible land use practices.
- Adaptation: at each stage of its growth, the League has adapted and evolved. Controls for rider safety, a coaching development and training program, professional race venue setup, thorough rules, growing logistical support both within and for teams. These are all areas in which the NorCal League has made considerable developmental steps.
Austin McInerny, president of the NorCal League, who has been with the League since 2002, acknowledges Fritzinger’s role: “I have been honored to work closely with Matt for the past eight years. From the first season, he has remained true to the League’s mission and has worked tirelessly to develop opportunities to expand high school mountain biking while always balancing increased competition with equally important social aspects and providing opportunities for volunteer involvement. While the NorCal League will miss Matt’s leadership, we are thrilled to see him take charge of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. We all owe Matt a very sincere ‘thank you,’ because without his vision and extremely hard work, I seriously doubt we would be seeing the current resurgence in mountain biking that is making its way across the country.”
About The National Interscholastic Cycling Association
NICA is the National Governing Body for grades 9-12 interscholastic mountain biking. NICA was established 2009 with generous funding from the national founding sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components, as well as establishing partners, Easton Foundations, SRAM and Trek Bicycles. Other fine sponsors include Clif Bar & Company, Creation Engine, GU Sports, IMBA, Primal Wear, Shimano, Mellow Johnny’s, CamelBak, Dirt Rag, Feedback Sports, Fort Lewis College, and Mountain Bike Action. The aim of NICA is to foster the development of high quality competitive cross-country mountain biking programming for High School aged athletes. NICA provides leadership, governance and program support to promote the development of interscholastic Mountain Biking Leagues throughout the United States. For more information on NICA visit www.nationalmtb.org or call 510.524.5464.
Matt Fritzinger directing the 2010 NorCal Opening Race
Contact: Matt Fritzinger www.nationalmtb.org