Enduro World Series introduced EWS-KIDS with the vision to give youngsters a fun and exciting opportunity where they can experience riding their bike at the same events as their enduro heroes.
Different categories and age groupings meant that younger children would take part in non-competitive participation events and older kids had the chance to compete for a spot on the EWS podium.
In 2021, when the EWS Tweed Valley team were planning their event for the October of that year, they knew that in order to give kids the best race experience, they needed to call in the professionals - local cycle clubs. There are two well established and highly regarded cycling clubs in the Tweed Valley - Peebles Cycling Club and KICCs, both of whom were fully invested in the EWS-KIDS project from the offset.
The EWS-KIDS organisers, as they become known, worked with the EWS team to identify the ideal locations for the kids race experiences, then set to work building a course with three enduro stages, including one at an introductory level, a dual slalom with wooden features and a more technical stage three for the older kids. On race day, the EWS-KIDS Organisers were there for the kids every step of the way. From bike checks to chaperoning, marshalling and more.
Meanwhile, the EWS Tweed Valley team, with the help of key partners Dirt School, Frog Bikes, Muc-Off and Caldwell’s Ice Cream, took care of the race promotion, admin and prizes. This included promoting the event, managing entries and registration, communicating with parents, providing race plates and timing chips, organising medical provision and photography, securing podium prizes as well as medals and goodie bags for every child.
The shared responsibilities and close working relationship between the EWS Tweed Valley team and the EWS-KIDS organisers lead to an incredibly successful event, but it doesn’t stop there. Entry fees from the kids races have been ring-fenced into a fund that local cycling clubs can access. This model will continue in 2022, contributing to the future development of youth cycling in the Borders.
“We, a team of experienced local volunteers, organised a grassroots kids event as part of the Vittoria Tweed Valley EWS in October 2021. The same team has committed to the event for the next 4 years.
The team of individuals has many years of combined experience as MTB coaches, leaders and event organisers including inter alia; founding and running prominent local kids MTB clubs in the Tweed Valley, organising kids race events (Dirt Crit Series, Stage Race), running the Scottish National Cross Country Series (SXC) for a number of years, event organisers of the UCI British XC Race at Glentress.
The commitment from the EWS to making the kids event a priority came from the very top and the support we had from their professional team was exemplary. Iain Grant, the Chair of the EWS Kids team commented “We were given complete authority to do it our way based on our experience of what works best for kids and were then provided with everything we needed in terms of, organisation, resources, finances and integration within the main event.”
EWS-Kids 2021 Organising Team
Iain Grant, Mike Wilcox, David Winton, Pete Johnson, PCC and Chris Bryant, KICC Scottish Borders
EWS-KIDS Parent Feedback
“My two had the most amazing day and have told our whole street about their time at the EWS event. Very enthusiastic team of helpers, considering the weather, don’t think the kids even noticed the rain!”
“Awesome event, both boys had an amazing day and well done to the leaders who took them round the stages and looked after them. Super slick event and what a team.”
“My three kids ranging from 8-14 had an amazing time going round in their groups and were telling us stories all night about the fun they had. Thank all the coaches.”
Looking To The Future
In 2022, Enduro Sports Organisation (ESO), the company behind the EWS, will take the EWS-KIDS race model to the Scottish Enduro Series (SES). SES KIDS will take place at each of the three SES events (Nevis Range, 23rd April, Tweed Valley 23rd July, Pitfichie 3rd Sept), and will involve the SES team working with series partner Frog Bikes and local cycle clubs in each area to deliver the kids events. A portion of each race entry fee will be donated to the local cycling clubs to continue to build the sport right across Scotland.
For ESO, this is a significant step in supporting the grassroots development of the sport, providing a platform for young riders to experience a race environment, to become involved in the sport and ultimately the most important thing of all, for them to have fun on their bikes.
How To Get Involved
For more information on EWS-Kids, head to the dedicated page on our site here.