Mountain bike enthusiast’s at Fort St. James Secondary School are spinning their wheels waiting to find out if they will travel to Powell River, B.C., to take part in the co-ed mountain bike competitions at the BC School Sports Provincial Championships, May 22-23.
Chris Greenaway, coach for the team, said the group needs close to $5,000 in order to get the team and their bikes to the Sunshine Coast competitions.
“It’s a ferry ride up (the coast) and a ferry ride back to the mainland, you can’t drive to Powell River,” he said.
The FSJSS team bikes twice a week on the trails around town, logging between 8-10 kilometres on the trails in preparation for the upcoming competition.
“We bike for just over an hour, every Tuesday and Thursday,” Greenaway said.
Greenaway said each student will have to compete in two races at the provincials, a cross-country and a downhill race. He said the team took part in the provincial’s last year and placed fourth, but could have done better if the team had been co-ed.
“The thing that killed us (last year) was we had no females,” he said. “I managed to get four females (this year) and we’re ending up with 18 riders signed up right now.”
Greenaway said unfortunately this year the school wasn’t able to help the group with costs, he said the team has some fundraising planned such as a bottle drive and garbage clean-up over the next weeks to try and reach its goal.
“Financially, getting there is our biggest challenge,” he said.
Greenaway said the group has a bus lined up for transporting the team to Powell River and the team’s bikes will be transported in his personal truck. He said he’s even obtained his Class 2 licence in an effort to cut costs and get the team out to the provincials.
“Because our costs were so much, I went to Prince George and got my licence to drive a bus so we didn’t have to hire a bus driver,” he said.
The group of Grade 8-12 students is hoping to find some local sponsors to help with the remaining costs that the team isn’t able to raise through its fundraising efforts.
“We’re (hoping) some of the businesses will want to sponsor the kids,” Greenaway said.