A new coaching initiative aimed at young female riders has taken off at the Christchurch Adventure Park.
Whether you’re an experienced mountain biker or keen to get your young charges hooked on the thrill of riding, the Christchurch Adventure Park (CAP) has trails to suit all ages and abilities. What’s more, CAP offers a range of coaching clinics during term time, along with school holiday programmes.
Developed in response to the under-representation of young women in mountain biking, Team Kōhine is the latest offering at CAP. The all-girls initiative aims to provide a fun space for young women (aged 11-15) to ride together, hone skills, develop confidence and grow friendships.
“It’s also about supporting young women to be comfortable in their own skin, while providing opportunities for leadership and teamwork,” says lead coach Robin Pieper. There are currently two “teams”: an advanced group focused on high-level riding and tackling some of the most challenging routes, and an intermediate group focused on gaining confidence and nailing the fundamentals. Within each “team”, girls mentor and learn from each other.
While each session has a particular skills focus, from cornering and braking to jumping and technical terrain, play is a crucial aspect, and the girls have plenty of time riding together and practising their skills on the hillside. Robin says, “The enthusiasm each of these girls has for the sport is infectious – the laughter echoes across the Park.”
Team Kōhine provides young women with a fun, safe outlet to challenge themselves physically, while expanding their social network. “The interest and response has been overwhelming,” says Robin.