LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A large youth mountain-biking community is forming in Southern Nevada.
The Nevada South Interscholastic Cycling League had so many kids last season, they had to turn some away.
The league is now in desperate need of coaches to keep up with the demand.
“We just don’t have enough coaches, we don’t have enough teams,” said Thomas Brodeur, team director and head coach for Vegas Rattlers. “I’ve maxed out for two years and we’re starting to see other teams close to maxing out too.”
Brodeur’s Vegas Rattlers team in the northwest valley is one of seven teams in the league. He says 75 kids wanted to join last season, but each team is capped at 50 riders.
“I think everyone the past couple of years just wants stuff to do with their kids, with their family. Get them off their phones, screen time, video games. This is a way to do it, and I think that’s what the appeal is,” Brodeur said.
Each team is made up of middle and high school students in their immediate area. The league hopes to bring on 20 to 30 more coaches to keep up with the 300 anticipated kids this season.
“We say ‘come on out,’ ” said Dennis Leffler, director of the Nevada South Interscholastic Cycling League.
“We train people from all levels … first-year riders to veterans who are picking up some additional skills. We can teach them while we’re out there working with them,” Leffler said.
Leffler said a majority of the coaches are parents that want to share a passion with their kids.
Once they start, they’re hooked.
“The closeness of these teams and the comradery when we’re out there at our events, people become friends and meet throughout the year. It’s really fun and exciting to see that happen,” Leffler said.
This is the first year the league is independent from the state league. Organizers are trying to raise $30,000 for all the equipment needed this season.