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“I’m just excited to continue building our trail network and maintaining it, to keep the riders coming out, and to keep our sponsors on board,” he said.
Director of Youth
Youth director Greg McDonnell stepped down after two busy years. This past year WORCA hosted three camps for youth, which attracted 48 young riders, as well as increased youth membership to 154 riders.
The association also held four Youth Toonie Nights for younger riders aged 5 to 12 and their parents that focused on skills and having fun.
Other youth initiatives include supporting the high school team, presenting the Lumpy Leidal award to Under 15 cross-country and downhill champion Tyler Allison, and awarding the first ever WORCA youth scholarship for $1,000 to former national downhill champion Brook Baker.
At the mention of the scholarship, Behind The Grind owner and WORCA member Chris Quinlan stepped forward to announce that he would be giving $500 each year to the scholarship fund in recognition of the support mountain bikers have given to his business — for which Grant Lamont ceremonially presented him with a second beer ticket.
McDonnell thanked community members for helping to run the youth programs, and suggested doubling WORCA’s contribution to the high school team next year, as well as increasing Loonie Race fees and using the proceeds for local non-profit organizations.
Financially, the youth portfolio finished the season well ahead with over $20,000 in the bank, which will go back into the program next year.
McDonnell will be replaced on the board next year by Sean Bickerton, who helped coach the high school team and all three camps.
Director of Planning
Ted Battiston, the director of Planning, also stepped down after serving three of the last four years. This year he has been working with developers of the Rainbow lands, the athletes’ village, the highway improvement project, and sliding centre to ensure that there is a no net loss of recreational trails.
The good news, said Battiston, is that all of the stakeholders have approached WORCA and voiced their support for the association’s no net loss policy. The developers of the Rainbow housing project also provided WORCA with $10,000 to help with trail development in the area and to compensate riders for losing a section of Shit Happens.
“The fact that these groups are coming to us really says something,” said Battiston. “It’s a huge coup for us to have earned this kind of recognition and legitimacy when it comes to making these decisions. It wasn’t that long ago that we were looked at as a bunch of skids who ride bikes.”