Trainers of a newly formed group, designed to inspire the next generation of mountain bikers, have been "blown away" by the public's response after reaching maximum capacity within the first two weeks.
Jolly Nose Gravity Groms aims to provide a safe, inclusive and fostering environment for young people to learn the basics of gravity enduro mountain biking.
The group currently has four trainers who supervise 32 children at Jolly Nose Mountain Bike Park every Thursday afternoon.
Jolly Nose Gravity Groms trainer Col Saunders said the turnout for their opening day exceeded everyone's expectations.
"We started with 24 kids on our opening day and within two weeks, we were basically closing the books," he said. "We've been blown away by the response.
"Due to our training requirements, we can only take in a maximum of 32 kids and we reached that faster than anyone ever expected to."
Jolly Nose Gravity Groms trainer Nathan Hall credited the sport's recent rise in popularity for the success of their program.
"Through COVID-19, we've noticed that the sport has gone crazy with bike sales," he said. "It's definitely a growing sport, we've seen memberships go through the roof at the club which is really good.
"The kids have been loving it. The kids who have never really ridden before are now pressuring their parents to get new bikes."
Saunders said the group was designed to set the children up with the knowledge to not only ride a mountain bike competently, but to also respect the bush, learn trail maintenance and do bike repairs.
"We wanted to show the kids what we've got here at Jolly Nose and what mountain biking is all about," he said.
"We also wanted to teach them the basic skills of mountain biking in a safe environment so that one day they can come out here by themselves and progress their skills.
"Ultimately, we want to provide them the opportunity to be outdoors and and be part of the great sport that we've got."
Saunders said it was important for aspiring mountain bikers to learn the skills in a safe environment.
"Safety is our biggest thing," he said. "Mountain biking is quite risky and accidents do happen, but our goal is to provide them with the basic skills to minimise that risk.
"We've got trails specifically built for kids and beginners. We've also opened up Grom Hill that's been specifically designed to facilitate those risks that they can take safely."
Saunders said the group also wants to be the stepping stone between the community and the racing scene.
"The club does a race through Rocky Trail every April, so we're hoping to introduce some of our groms, who are interested and ready for it, into that racing scene as well."
Saunders thanked Jolly Nose Mountain Bike Park for supporting the group's initiative.
"The club has been a big support for us and we couldn't have created this project without its support."
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