Power of Sports | Community Spotlight - Nine13sports

A Play Station

Every sport has its own economic barriers of entry, but competitive cycling is in a lane of its own.

Entry fees. Custom-fitted bicycles. And replacing expensive metal pieces of equipment. These are just a few of the reasons why the sport is typically made up of only middle-to-upper class athletes.

In order to change this trend and combat the economic barriers of cycling, Tom Hanley founded Nine13sports in 2011. 

Nine13Sports Clinic

Through the health and fitness nonprofit, Tom started a traveling, bike program called “Kids Riding Bikes.” Essentially, the program travels across Indiana to different school districts with an interactive indoor bicycling simulator. 

The 8-person stationary setup utilizes technology that gamifies the experience of riding a bicycle. It also creates a safe environment for kids to enjoy cycling. 

During each riding session, students in kindergarten through eighth-grade pedal multiple courses of varying lengths and difficulties. The best part about the Kids Riding Bikes program is that it all occurs in an environment where a bicycle hasn’t traditionally been found – their PE class.

Child participating in Nine13sports clinic.

On average, 150 kids participate in the Kids Riding Bikes program each day. Out of those students, Ninee13sports discovered around 10% were cycled for the first time in their lives.

For some of the kids, the biking program just felt like a big, interactive video game. For others, it was the very first time they ever got to experience the heart-racing thrill and freedom of riding a bike.

And for the staff at Nine13sports, these experiences are exactly what the Kids Riding Bikes program is all about.

In a matter of just eight years, the Nine13sports Kids Riding Bikes program introduced its curriculum to over 100 schools in Indiana and grew from 1,000 participants to 50,000-plus kids getting to experience the exhilarating world of cycling.

To learn more about Nine13sports, visit nine13sports.org.

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