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HopOn North Vancouver: 2023 Recap

In the spring of 2023, Canadian Alpine Ski Team athlete Emeline Bennett and PMBIA Instructor Tessa Wang joined our Cycling BC HopOn instructor team to help launch an after-school program for girls in North Vancouver.

“Both Tessa and I have done a ton of coaching but being able to run a HopOn program was such an amazing experience.

Normally, we get groups based on skill level and most of the kids have never met, which always allows for new friendships to be made but this group was really special. All of the girls were already friends and all had a love of mountain biking, so not only were we able to coach them and help them build their individual confidence but we were also able to help them learn to support one another in a bunch of ways beyond riding.

There were great opportunities to have conversations the kids about their individual goals and supporting progression no matter where they are at.

Something both Tessa and I thought was really important was rewarding outstanding individuals who went out of their way to set an example of great sportsmanship. We found a front metal decal someone had lost off their bike and began awarding it after camp to someone who really stood out. One day it went to a girl who crashed and took a moment to calm herself down and got up the confidence to try again which showed great resilience. On another day it went to a girl who would change her climbing speed so she could move between groups of her friends to talk and keep them distracted when they were struggling with fatigue.

At the end of the camp each kid got a card with a medal on the front and three things they did that made them a great teammate written on the back of the card. We celebrated result-based successes too (doing new features or skills) but we always wanted the focus to come back to sportsmanship and being a good friend because skills can come with practice, but more than anything we want the girls to be kind and confident.” – Emeline Bennett

When Emeline and Tessa first contacted Cycling BC’s HopOn program in May 2023, they were eager to create a meaningful program for girls and thanks to Sport Canada funding, they were able to receive the HopOn instructor training to make it happen.

“Em and I had a great time at the HopOn Instructor Training. We enjoyed learning the fundamental skills of biking and the foundations of teaching. The course also let us gain a deeper understanding of the core principles and values of Cycling BC and how to implement them into the program. Some key takeaways were the ABC’s, progressive learning, and structuring a session. Overall it was a super fun time and it was exciting to meet other people who share the same passion of teaching kids how to ride!

We were able to bring what we learnt from this course into our camp and even had a whole riding day where we didn’t leave the tennis court. The kids had great opportunities to work on individual skills that often get missed when we are always riding trails and they even said that it was one of their favourite days at camp.

Thank you again for all your help” – Tessa Wang

We are also very excited to announce that Cycling BC’s HopOn Instructor training certification has been recognized in the BC Ministry of Education’s External Sport Credentials “Coach” Program. This means that if you are 14 years and older, you can begin the application and training process to become an after-school or community HopOn instructor and receive high school graduation credits. This program is also helpful for Cycling BC Targeted Athletes. Contact us via email or learn more here.

See you on the trails!