Back in 2015, I was preparing my Level 1 MTBA coaching certificate under the supervision of Donna Dall (Progressive Coaching Systems - PCS) and Jodie Willett (BikeRite). Having attended a two-day training workshop at Moreton Bay Boys College, I still needed to log in 10 hours under the supervision of a level 2 coach, Jodie, and another 20 hours of solo coaching. Whereas the first part, in Underwood, was straight forward thanks to Jodie’s skills and dedication, the second part, solo coaching, was much more intimidating, and I decided to hold on for a while (procrastinate?). Thankfully, a wonderful and very insistant (or should I say downright stubborn?) friend of mine, TRC Club MTB rider Angela Skirving, convinced Jodie and I to start a kids’ ride around the Mount Coot-tha reserve trails. Kenmore Kids MTB skills and Ride (KKMTB) was born. We had a spreadsheet with the contact details of a handful of parents and a piece of paper with some coaching ideas thrown down for a bit of structure, and that was it. Sessions were animated by Jodie, Angela and myself every Monday at 6am. Already back then, sessions started with a bit of practice around the meadows area before heading for the trails, for approximately one hour. Attendance was variable ranging from 2 to 12 kids (I remember once, no one turned up, so I went for a ride on my own, only to realize later that it was Easter Monday!!!). Sessions were random, without any progression, levels, groups, or even a program… We were just hanging out at Gap Creek... I have some awesome memories of kids quickly inhaling some cereal at Gap Creek just after the session before racing off to school… Kudos to some very dedicated parents. Our first customers were Ava, Amelia, Chloe and Hudson. Thanks to these four putting up with my “coaching”, I completed 20 hours of solo coaching and my Level 1 MTB Coaching diploma, under the National Coach Accreditation Scheme (MTB NCAS1, mtba, reg# 51114). From there, things started to accelerate, thanks to the unflinching support of a few founding families, amongst which the Zielinski’s (Aneta and Adam) who put together a Facebook page in January 2016. Natalie Muir and James Springfield also joined us as coaches, bringing in many cool ideas and obstacle designs. This is when we really started to develop a series of training modules for various ages (i.e. stamina, skills-levels, etc.) which lead us to our current Koalas, Wallabies, Dingoes, Death Adder and LADA (Life After Death Adders) groups. More parents and kids joined in, without whom the club would not have become what it is now, a vibrant MTB community with a vision and a goal. Soon, Mike Farrelly (and the whole Farrelly gang of course) joined us. Mike was pivotal in supporting our most recent transition, beyond the naïve amateurism of our first unregistered association, into a fully-fledged non-profit Incorporated Association: Coot-tha MTB INC (IA58136), born in September 2018. You see, Mike has unflinching faith in the grip of his Minion DHF tyres and in the bright future of our club, which helps a lot. Of course, this short biopic does not render justice to all the parents who joined us throughout our epic history, but to list a few: Andrew, Louisa, Mike, Vony, Marzia, Peter, Yvonne, and more recently; Saul, Matthew, Mandy, Ian, Tamara, Nicola, etc…. To them all, my heart goes "come here and give me a hug", I am so glad I met you.
Three years later, with over 20 registered coaches, 70+ enrolled kids, with a high percentage of girls (typically over 30%), 6 skills/stamina levels (age range 3 - 15), regular training camps (Walloon, Adare Homestead, Ferny Forest), upcoming women coaching program and race team (and so much more, surprise!!!), Coot-tha MTB Inc. has trained more than three hundred children in basic and intermediate mountain biking skills, and does not plan to stop there.
Join us in the social and sport fun, help your kids build the passion of a lifetime!
Frank (Coach first and foremost and always, also president)
Mountain biking is not just a sport. Riding a trail, in many ways, summarises various facets of life, as it requires focus, mindfulness, as well as courage and commitment. Mountain biking procures a lot of emotional gratification. When we successfully tackle an obstacle, a pinch climb or a steep descent, it feels incredibly good, exhilarating, and genuine. It feels like the “real” thing. Conversely, when we fall off the bike, coming to grief with a root or a rock or a log, we feel mortified and scared. But we get back on the bike, try again and eventually succeed after more attempts. Mountain biking develops our resilience, our determination. It teaches us to commit and give it a go, while channelling and quieting our fears and anxieties.