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Youth train for state-wide competitions in mountain bike program

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Mo. (KFVS) - A mountain biking team is taking to the trails around the state as they compete in their first season.

It’s a not your traditional sport as 16 kids have signed up in the southeast Missouri area as part of the SEMO Mudcats team.

You can find them riding on the trails, practicing at Klaus Park in Jackson.

They are encouraged to ride for fun, they learn teamwork and learn to become self-sufficient.

“Everybody loves riding their bike,” SEMO Mudcats Head Coach Mike Higgins said. “You can’t forget how to ride a bike and it’s fun. We want to encourage and give an outlet for those kids that wouldn’t have an opportunity. It’s not a traditional team sport.”

They are kids that come from different parts of southeast Missouri and come together to practice their team sport.

“We’re 6th grade through 12th grade, boys and girls,” Higgins said. “We’re not affiliated with any particular school. So we’ve got kids from all the school districts from within the area. We have homeschool kids. We take all.”

Higgins said there is a lot of training involved before and in-between competitions.

“It’s a lot of fun to do and a lot of work,” Higgins said. “We start in July and it’s a lot of basic training. We’ve got kids that have ridden bikes but maybe they’ve never ridden on the grass or never been out on a trail before. So there’s a lot of basic training and skills work that we work with kids on. Then, we train them up from there.”

Their next competition is in Kansas City before heading to state competition later this month.

“Have fun, getting out there, get moving, get on your bike, make friends, and do a little something beyond what you think you can do. It’s fun!,” said Higgins.

If you’re interested in joining a team in your area, you can find a list of them as part of the Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League here.

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