ESHS youth mountain biking team seeking donations, volunteers

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Eureka Springs High School teacher Shawna Miller has signed up several students for the school’s new youth mountain biking team.

Even with sponsorships from Equity Bank and CS Bank, the Eureka Springs High School’s youth mountain biking team needs donations and volunteer help to get rolling.

High school teacher Shawna Miller said several students have signed up to join the team.

It’s expensive to get the team started, Miller said, because each student needs a bike, safety equipment and insurance coverage. There’s a fee to register for races, Miller said, and inexpensive bikes cost $800 to $1,200 each.

“If we can get some good bikes to start with, hopefully next year it won’t be quite so expensive and we can just build on it,” Miller said.

Miller said the club also could use help from volunteers, especially parents who would like to ride with their children. She said the club will host an event at the Great Passion Play on Saturday, May 1, where everyone will learn about bike safety and get a chance to take on the trails.

“We’ll have all different sized bikes,” Miller said. “Kids to adults are welcome to come that day.”

The great thing about mountain biking, Miller said, is it allows riders to set their own personal goals. It’s not about winning or losing, she said.

“There’s a set of goals you can lay out for yourself that increase in complexity and you can feel supported as you’re reaching those goals,” Miller said.

Safety is her top priority, Miller said. She emphasized that the club won’t be giving equipment to students who haven’t put in the time to learn bike safety.

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that every kid who’s willing to put in the time will have a bike to ride,” Miller said. “Every kid has to come to practice and the fundraisers. We’ll teach them how to ride safely, so no crazy jumps and no crazy speed.”

She loves that mountain biking isn’t a traditional high school sport, Miller said.

“The students that are signing up right now are students you wouldn’t traditionally see in an athletic program,” Miller said. “They get that awesome feeling of joining a team and all the cool team collaboration. It’s about being able to be part of something after school that is positive.”

To sign up for the May 1 event, email Miller at Shawna.Miller@es.k12.ar.us.

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