Michigan Youth Cycling's History
The idea of the Michigan Youth Cycling (MYC) program was forged on a cold December night ten years ago when a diverse group of cyclists, parents, and health enthusiasts met in a living room in Pinckney, MI to lay the foundation of what would become Kids Race Sports Development Inc., now a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization. Though each person in attendance brought different personal, professional, academic, and cycling experiences to that initial meeting, all believed in the need to support junior development while promoting cycling as a lifetime activity to children and youth throughout Michigan. Because this need has so many different components, the organization formed two separate programs: a community based initiative to introduce children to cycling and .a junior development team devoted to junior cyclists.
Along that same path MYC wanted to start recognizing student athletes by awarding scholarships in an effort to support their educational endeavors. With that, the Iceman Cometh Scholarship award was formed in 2005. The award is given out each November at the Iceman Cometh, where junior cyclists race to be the top 5 fastest male and female riders in hopes of earning a monetary scholarship ($4,000.00 in Scholarships this year) for their future educational endeavors. In addition to the Iceman Cometh Scholarship, this year we will be offering a scholarship for the top 3 male and female riders in our MBRA - Michigan Challenge Junior Scholarship Series Awards ( $4,000.00), Wolverine Junior Development Program ($500.00), Michigan Tailwind Cyclocross series competition, ($500.00) and the Michigan Youth Cyclist of the Year Award $1000.00 Scholarship. To date, MYC has awarded $8,500 in scholarship to student athletes. This year alone MYC expects to award $10,000 to student athletes!!!!
Another development that MYC is really excited for is the partnership that has been formed with the Wolverine sports club. Together, the MYC/Wolverine Junior Developmental team will expand in new and bigger ways. The goal of the program is to aid in the development of youth as a student, community member and athlete. Team members will be monitored for academic performance. Additionally, community service will be required.
"The vision of the program has evolved and grown quite a bit since that cold night in December," says Matt Baroli, executive director of MYC. "We just want to get kids involved, whether that's taking them to the level of going to Nationals and or just taking them out on the local Tuesday night training ride for their first time."
MYC is not only an advocate for physical activity and access to healthy competition but they are also about life balance. Along with balance, MYC is dedicated to providing the forum for the development of skills such as teamwork, self-discipline, sportsmanship, leadership and socialization that our youth so desperately need in this day and age.