We are really quite proud of our range of programmes that support more individuals to participate in this amazing pastime that is mountain biking.
And it is amazing! Amazing for all-round physical fitness, amazing for mental wellbeing, getting out into nature, the social and community side of it, the accessibility for folk of all ages and abilities from the super gnarly downhillers to the family riding tracks to have a picnic in the woods. It is truly phenomenal. When we remember how awesome mountain biking is, how it makes us feel, then we wouldn’t want to deprive any individual access to this special pastime.
However, many communities are underrepresented in mountain biking and this is a real shame, a diverse community is a healthy, inspiring community, there are many amazing folk out there leading the way for others to be inspired by but more support is needed and we would like to help, not just with words on this page but with real, tangible action.
We have started but could do so much more – with your help.
For those living with mental ill-health, access to green spaces and physical activity is so beneficial, couple that with the positive risk taking experienced when mountain biking in a professionally supported environment to ensure emotional and physical safety and we can have a massive impact on individuals wellbeing. Beyond the reach of NHS stretched capabilities it is here that partnership approaches like ours, working with practitioners within NHS services can real life long change (Public Health Priorities; Scottish Government and COSLA, June 2018)
And who says those with a physical disability need to is repeatedly to flat tracks and smooth, wide trails? We have a growing number of disabled riders truly riding the gnarly trails. But much more support is needed to help inspire and encourage more disabled riders and leaders. We have started on this pathway with a new accessible leadership award and two leaders on hand bikes qualified and a pathway for disabled tutors. Its only a start, the tip of the iceberg and we know we can do so much more. Important to factor in; mental distress is much more frequent in the disabled community; time to get our skates on!
We want to work within communities, supporting and training up leaders, coaches and tutors across all demographics and importantly from within those communities to effect real change. We can talk the hind leg off a donkey (and often do) on the benefits of mountain biking for all, but now we would love to stop talking quite so much and start doing.
We receive some funding from sportscotland and some from British Cycling, enabling us to deliver some taster activities each year, we are also reasonably good at getting funding in from other organisations but often need to match fund and it here that your donations, no matter how small can help!
- £125 pays for a First aid course or a mental health first aid course for a volunteer
- £150 kit for volunteers who are giving up their time to support us.
- £250 the average cost of upgrading our fleet with regular bike repairs
- £500 pays a volunteer to go through a Level 2 MTB Leadership training and qualification
- £1,000 enables us to deliver another Rider2Leader course helping us support more amazing women into mountain bike leadership
- £1,500 covers the cost of delivering bespoke MTB Fundamentals leadership training/course for up to 6 aspiring leaders from marginalised or underrepresented communities.
- £9,500 is the cost to mentor and support an aspiring Tutor who can then go on to deliver leadership training, acting as a role model for future aspiring leaders. For example, a disabled tutor delivering course on adapted bikes to both disabled and able-bodied riders.
- £10,000 is how much it costs for an academic evaluation of a programme which is essential to prove impact and understand how programmes can be improved.
- £50,000 is how it would cost for us to have a full-time MTB Health Fund manager (we dont have this yet - but it is our aspiration to get there)
- £75,000 is the biggy – this is the Trail Therapy Programme for one year.
You may think that donating a coffee per month (or whatever you can afford!) will not scratch the surface of these amounts. However, if the MTB community embraces the Scottish MTB Health Fund we will use our expertise in match funding to invest further and get more money into helping people from marginalised or underrepresented groups into our fantastic sport.
- Support the mountain bike and mental health project, Trail Therapy and look to secure funding to roll out across Scotland
- Produce further campaigns and programmes to address the gender inequality in our sport - for example Rider2Leader
- Support the disabled community through training new tutors and leaders from within the disabled community to increase participation and access to mountain biking, enabling greater access to the wonderful outdoors
- Campaign for greater awareness when it comes to trail building and maintenance to ensure as much access to our great outdoors for those on adapted bikes
- Expand on our current Rider2leader programme to actively support women from ethnic minority communities into mountain bike leadership through the provision of bespoke courses and the training of a mountain bike tutor from within those communities
- Work with Scottish Cycling to offer programmes to broaden participation in urban areas particularly in SIMD areas. For example the Free Bikes for Kids programme.
- Continue to lobby for the development of trails near urban areas to diversify mountain biking for children and young people
- Roll out projects near urban trails to provide bikes, equipment and suitably trained leaders to help people access the sport in a safe and enjoyable manner. For example the 'Ride Dundee' Pilot.
- Represent your views to the Scottish Government
- Continue to seek funding to support MTB health programmes and trails
- Represent mountain bikers at National Access Forum – helping to retain and enhance access to trails for riders
- Lobby for increased investment into our trail network and the volunteers who help manage it
- Seek funding for participation programmes (MTB & Mental Health, Urban & Diversity Programmes)
- Provide access to discounts to MTB products, shops, and events through our partner programme
- Provide pportunities to win prizes each month from our merchandise and from mountain bike brands
- Keep you updated through a digital newsletter 3 times per year
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