Skip to main content

CPASS graduate named inaugural director of state mountain biking league

A CPASS graduate will serve as the founding director of the West Virginia Mountain Biking League. The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) has named Cassie Smith to lead their efforts in the mountain state.  

Smith explains the excitement that comes with the NICA designation. “West Virginia, as one of the newest states accepted into the NICA family, will benefit from the effort. As league director, I’m honored to lead the effort of getting more kids on bikes,” said Smith.

The NICA, a youth development organization, oversees interscholastic mountain biking in the United States. West Virginia and Maryland are the two newest additions to the growing list of states.

Smith, 1993 physical education teacher education (PETE) graduate, plans to develop club teams at high schools around the state.

The first club team includes high school students who live throughout the state. The team competed in one race in Pennsylvania, along with 400 other middle school students. Smith’s goal is to develop 4-5 races in the fall of 2018. She plans to organize coaching clinics, trail work and lead clinics in the spring 2019.

Bechtel Reserve, the Boy Scouts of American adventure center, is collaborating with the West Virginia Mountain Biking League to enhance the accessibility of mountain bikes for youth.

The partnership supports the West Virginia initiative to make the state a bicycling destination. Morgantown recently served as host of a bicycling summit, with 60 attendees. Organizers will meet on December 4 to begin preparation for a second summit and establish fundraising goals and site bids.  

To kick off West Virginia Interscholastic Mountain Biking, Smith has scheduled the Inaugural Night of WV Dirt Tour on Friday, November 17, 6-8 p.m. at Bright Morning Inn in Davis, WV. The event will promote awareness of the new sport and feature Single Track High, a film about kids who ride, along with tips on how to start a team.

CPASS and the Reed College of Media will offer practical experience opportunities for sport management and sport and adventure media majors as volunteers with the WV Mountain Biking League.

Smith hopes the initiative will make an impact in the health of children in the state. According to the State of Obesity, a collaborative project of the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 35 percent of children from ages 10-17 are obese in West Virginia. Additionally, the state ranks seventh in childhood obesity in the United States. Mountain biking provides another weapon to combat the epidemic.

According to Smith, schools will eventually gain club oversight. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) will oversee the sport once it is established within schools.

Contact for information about supporting the WV Mountain Biking League.