GRiT – Girls Riding Together

The GRiT initiative is an effort by the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) to recruit and retain more girls and female coaches in NICA programs. The overarching goal of the NICA GRiT initiative is to increase the overall participation rate  to 33% female participation (coaches and student-athletes each) by 2023. #moregirlsonbikes!

Who should learn about GRiT:

NICA develops co-ed interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes with a mission to build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling. Increasing female participation in mountain biking is ultimately a matter of running good programming for everyone – programming that is inclusive, experience-based and intentional. With the goals of the GRiT initiative and the philosophy of equity integrated into all NICA teams – this is not a side project. As coaches of co-ed teams, all NICA coaches are dedicated to getting #moregirlsonbikes.

An important first step to making girls feel comfortable on NICA teams, is to have positive adult female role models. So, a primary objective of the GRiT initiative will be to recruit women to the Wisconsin league as coaches and ride leaders and to continue to prioritize their development.

Recommend a female coach to a NICA team and the GRiT initiative.

Coaches, what can you do right now?

  • Invite women into on-the-bike roles within your team and give them a chance to lead.
  • Encourage and promote women to move through the NICA coaching levels, increasing their involvement and qualifications.
  • Reach out to Heather Rainer, the WI GRiT Program Director to learn more.

NICA: The New Normal

Follow our GRiT Social

GRiT Ambassadors

GRiT Ambassadors are student-athlete representatives for the GRiT program, helping raise awareness of the effort to get #moregirlsonbikes and acting as a local advocate and voice for what our female student-athletes want out of the GRiT program. GRiT Ambassadors play a key role in recruiting and retaining more girls in NICA programs at the league level.
2024 GRiT Ambassador Applications are due June 1

GRiT Coach Mentors

Let’s face it ladies. We are coaches because we love to ride or we love to be with our families and biking brings us together. The Coach Mentors will be expected to help recruit but mainly we need them to be available to help engage with the 400+ girls & female coaches in the league. We are looking for women to help us get more women and girls on bikes and bring us all together at the races!!

What is a GRiT Coach Mentor?

A GRiT Coach Mentor is not afraid to get in front of the team and share her experiences and knowledge of the league, team, and riding. She is a trusted coach that other coaches, parents, and athletes are not afraid to ask questions of her. She is confident in her ability to share the love of mountain biking and loves encouraging more women and girls on bikes.

A GRiT Coach Mentor is willing to work with other coaches but is particularly interested in helping build the female mountain bike community all while building up the confidence in the moms of student athletes on the team. She will encourage other women to consider biking, volunteering, and coaching for a local NICA team.

Visit the GRiT Storefront

Get your NICA GRiT gear here!

t-shirt, socks, and hat with GRiT graphics