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Specialized to Support New Programs for IMBA World Summit

For Immediate Release
Contact mark [dot] eller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller)
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115

IMBA and Specialized have joined forces for two important new elements of the IMBA World Summit (August 20-24, Steamboat Springs, CO). Their involvement includes sponsorship of the Land Manager Super Panel and a partnership with The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) to offer two scholarships for youth athletes to attend and experience the World Summit and help provide input to a joint NICA IMBA youth advocacy program.

Virtually every American land management agency realizes the importance of engaging youth in outdoor recreation. Working together with NICA and Specialized, IMBA will highlight how mountain biking is engaging youth and working to help high school athletes learn about and get involved in advocacy and stewardship. IMBA will offer two (2) scholarships to deserving youth athletes—supported by Specialized to the World Summit.  Student recommendations will be sought from NICA leadership and league directors in Colorado and other states.  The student athlete’s role will be as NICA reps to the World Summit, to experience and learn, attend Summit breakout and plenary sessions, and introduce the screening of the documentary film, Singletrack High, about the development of high school mountain bike racing leagues. The athletes will meet with NICA and IMBA leadership to help shape an emerging educational program jointly constructed by NICA and IMBA.

"This is a great opportunity to work together with two of our most important partners in an effort to listen to, learn from, and support the next generation of riders and outdoor stewards,” said Lucy August-Perna, Specialized Advocacy Manager. "We hope the youth athletes will be inspired by their experience at the World Summit and bring home new ideas to engage their fellow teammates, peers, and community members to help build a groundswell of youth involvement across the country.”

In addition to the youth scholarships, Specialized has also signed up as a top level sponsor in support of the Land Manager Super Panel on Friday August 22nd, during the World Summit. The Land Manager Super Panel, presented by Specialized, will be held Friday August 22 from 1:45-2:45. The plenary session panel will bring together agency leadership representing: Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and State Parks to discuss the evolving aspects of mountain biking on public lands­—trails, stewardship and innovative management practices— across these agencies. Invited Speakers include:

• Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

• Neil Kornze, U.S. Bureau of Land Management

• Courtland Nelson, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (retired)

• Bob Ratcliffe, Conservation and Outdoor Recreation, National Park Service

• Mark Schmidt, Parks Canada

"We're extremely grateful to Specialized for stepping up to support these two critical aspects of the World Summit," said Rich Cook, IMBA Director of Development. "In many ways the discussion of engaging youth in outdoor stewardship and the issues that face our public lands today, go hand in hand.  Hats off to Specialized for recognizing the importance of these elements in our work and the role the bike can play in getting more kids outside.”