Who is it for?
Where does the Academy fit into existing junior development pathways?
It’s really just another option. The main aim is to get more kids riding MTB more often. Where they go from there is completely up to them. We hope in time some riders will move from Development Teams into Race Squads and then ultimately into a National Team. Some may ultimately make a career out of riding on the road! Most though will probably just make great friends and enjoying riding lots of different bikes with lots of different people for the rest of their lives. Honestly, we don’t care as long as they’re riding a bike!
If you’re 12-17 years old and wanting to make MTB your main sport, then the Academy is for you!
What's the difference between a Race Squad and a Development Team?
It is expected that different teams will have slightly different focus and priorities depending on the actual needs of riders, the Development Team is primarily focussed on the early stages of MTB, rather than experienced national level riders. They may aspire to be become a national level competitor but are just starting out but they also may just simply want to make MTB their main sport – for fun. Some Development Team riders may move into Race Squads as they get more serious, but we expect most won’t.
Race Squads are a bit like “Division 1” in other sports. These are the more serious kids or the ones with a lot of experience. They’ve probably been riding a MTB for a while with much older riders. Ultimately it’s up to the Team’s themselves to decide what type they want to be – there’s no formal criteria or restriction on how many of each team we have, we just wanted to provide an option for the more and less serious rider.
Why is cost different between a Race Squad and a Development Team?
Basically Race Squad’s get 2 sets of riding gear (jersey & bib knicks), Development Teams just 1 set.
Race Squads are more serious riders who will often go away for multiple days riding and will probably ride 3-4 times a week so they need a 2nd set. Development Team riders can buy additional gear if they need it but as not all of them will need it we’ve opted to keep the entry price lower for them.
Other than riding kit, both teams get the same amount of all other gear.
Am I too good for the Academy?
What’s expected of Academy Riders?
We expect our riders to treat Mountain Biking as “main sport”. That means we expect you’d be riding at least a couple of times a week – just like you would with soccer or AFL. Once session might be training specific skills and you might do a race or event on the weekend.
We expect you to treat your teammates, bike store, local MTB club and Team support with the respect they deserve. This means looking after your teammates and your bike so you’re always ready to ride with them and helping out your club at local races. There’s never too many helper come pack up!
What if I don’t really want to do races?
We think events and club races are an important part of development as they provide a great way to test yourself. It doesn’t matter what position you come or grade you race, but is important you test yourself from time to time. It’s the best way to show yourself how you’re progressing and you’ll get better the more you do. Remember you’re only ever racing yourself, regardless of who’s around you, so you’re the ultimate judge of your own performance.
We have a simple but effective process for measuring performance we recommend all riders use
- Did you have the most fun you’ve ever had on a bike?
- Yes – great, better make sure next time you top that then!
- No – That’s a shame, better make sure next time is!
Who’s behind the Academy?
Many people have help inspire the idea that has become the Academy, however it is essentially the brainchild of two MTB tragics, Dean Clark and Matt Battye. Along with Gen, his wife and co-founder Dean runs Torq Nutrition Australia, one the county’s longest running and most successful MTB teams. Dean’s involvement helps bring the same philosophies and experience to the Academy that has made Torq such a great success.
Matt Battye is founder and Managing Director of Complete Wealth, a financial advisory and management business with offices in NSW, ACT & VIC. Matt didn’t begin riding MTB until into his 30’s but it quickly became a major part of his life. He simply wants to make sure every kids gets the opportunity to experience and have the lifetime benefits that riding can bring.
Having played and coached a variety of sports at a junior level for many years, Matt has seen many times the value of sport in helping kids develop into happy, successful adults and believes Mountain biking is an ideal sport for this.
I’d love to ride for TORQ MERIDA – will it help if I join the Academy?
Do I have to rejoin next year?
Can I buy more kit or casual gear?
I’m not actually in an Academy Team, can I still buy the kit?
There isn’t an Academy Bike Shop near me, can I still join?
I’m not a junior rider or a bike but would love to support the Academy – How can I?
- Like us on facebook
- Buy some supporter gear
- Contact an Academy Bike shop near you or send us an email and we’ll hook you up.
- Sponsor your very own Team
- Get your very own team complete with your brand on your team’s jersey! Talk to your local Bike Shop or contact us and we’ll help organise it for you.
- Become a National Sponsor
- Drop us an email if you’d like to help out at a National Level – we’d love the help!
Is the 2WA affiliated with MTBA?
Not in any official capacity, ie we are not affiliated or endorsed by MTBA. We believe community is important though so we do encourage all our riders to be members of their local MTB club and members of MTBA. This will give them the relevant benefits of insurance etc but most importantly they’ll be joining a community of like-minded riders, and that has so many benefits.
Do you provide coaching?
We don’t provide any direct coaching support as the logistics don’t allow it. We are working with a great coaching provider on some online training that will be available to all riders but the real hands-on coaching will come from being a part of your club and your local bike shop. Both will have access to great coaches and good riders you’ll be able to ride with and learn from.