Emily Batty Project heads to Durham

Project teams up with Durham Shredders Youth MTB Cycling Program

The Emily Batty project is getting more kids on bikes. Starting from an early age, mountain biking has been at the core of Emily Batty’s life. The sport laid a foundation on which she has built a career at the elite level. Now, through the recently launched Emily Batty Project, the Trek Factory Racing athlete is hoping to lay the foundation for young riders across the country.

Recently, Emily met with members of the Durham Shredders, a mountain bike club for kids and youth, on her home trails of Durham Forest, northeast of Toronto.

“I want to see more kids on bikes for so many reasons,” said Batty. “Learning how to work with others, learning how to overcome and persevere. There are so many life skills that I personally learned. I think there are so many opportunities for others to learn the same.”

“Our main objective is to give kids an outlet to get outside, get back in touch with nature, have some fun, make some friends, and hopefully teach them that riding a bike on the incredible trails we have in the area is far more fun than electronics,” said Mark Bradley, founder and operator of the Durham Shredders.

The Shredders program is underpinned by the efforts of qualified instructors and a multi-week program that teaches skills. A partnership with Trek Toronto has helped to supply bikes for kids to start out with, ensuring they’re learning on good quality, well-fitting bikes

“As I grew up I saw more and more families take part and now it’s this great big culture that’s really shaped who I am,” said Batty. “I’ve been lucky enough to take it to a professional level and represent Canada at two Olympic games and hopefully two more in the future. There are so many life skills learned through the sport, I want to see more kids have those opportunities.”

The Shredders started in the spring of 2017, and have proven there’s an appetite for this sort of programming, with an expected 150 kids participating in four, six-week programs, well exceeding the initial goals of 32 per session. Many kids find it so much fun that they’ve opted into taking one session after another. Enrollment for the final session of the year is expected to hit 80 riders.

The Emily Batty Project aims to work with existing organizations that foster greater youth involvement in mountain biking. If you know a program that could use a helping hand and want to help us create more great stories like this one, reach out to the Emily Batty Project.