In a development which signals the recognition being given to the economic potential of mountain biking in Scotland, Scottish Cycling and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) have announced two new members in the team, both dedicated to the development of Mountain Biking. This should see the sport benefitting from extra support in the delivery of the Mountain Bike Leadership programme and also in developing the sport in the Tweed Valley.
Christine Fox started working with Scottish Cycling as the new part time MBL Development Officer at the beginning of the month. Christine lives in the Scottish Borders and is a passionate mountain biker, riding for fun and also racing as well. She is a current mountain bike leader and already has some experience working in the industry with Ridelines as a development officer.
Although she will work from the Scottish Cycling headquarters at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow, the role will take her out into the field supporting and developing the tutors, providers and the MBL scheme as a whole.
Scottish Cycling and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland have also recruited their first ever regional mountain bike development post to work in the Tweed Valley to help deliver the Tweed Valley MTB Action Plan.
Edward Shoote will take up the role of Mountain Bike Development Coordinator at the end of month, working from the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, Glentress, with Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS). The post will be funded by the Scottish Government and the EU through the locally run Scottish Borders LEADER programme, and will be match funded by Scottish Enterprise, for the next two years.
Edward is a passionate cyclist, who has experience of cycle tourism, from mountain biking to gravel and adventure riding. As well as Scotland, he has lived and worked in mountain biking destinations in France (Morzine), Canada (Fernie and Golden, BC) and New Zealand (Wanaka).
He will help lead, facilitate and manage the delivery of the Tweed Valley Mountain Biking Action Plan 2017 – 2019 that was developed by the Tweed Valley Mountain Biking Stakeholder Group. This aims to secure and realise the growth potential of mountain bike tourism in the area, enhance the competitiveness of tourism businesses generally and help ensure the mountain bike community is more integrated into the care and development of a sustainable trail network.
Graeme McLean, Project Manager, Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland says:
“Scottish Cycling and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland are delighted to have Christine and Edward joining the team as their roles will be instrumental in helping us reach our aim of having a world class mountain biking system on our doorstep. It is also fantastic to have our first regional staff member dedicated to the discipline, based at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland in Glentress. The Tweed Valley is already an amazing place to ride a bike and with someone supporting the bike community, businesses and the public sector stakeholders we believe it help improve the area for locals and visitors – it is really exciting times!.”
It’s great to see mountain biking being given recognition and investment – perhaps if Scotland can show the economic benefits are there, the UK government might also be persuaded to look further at the opportunities that trail access and mountain biking facilities can offer?