Uxbridge mountain bike club pumped to receive $72,000 in provincial funding

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Published May 24, 2024 at 10:49 am

emily batty
Brooklin's Emily Batty, an Olympian and world championship bronze medalist, on the mountain bike trails. Photo Canadian Cycling Magazine

The training ground for some of Ontario’s top mountain bikers received a big boost Thursday when a cheque for more than $72,000 was awarded to the Durham Shredders club in Uxbridge.

Whitby MPP Lorne Coe was on hand in Uxbridge – the Trail Capital of Canada and the training ground for Pan Am Games champion Emily Batty (who parents own the Trail Hub event and trail centre in Uxbridge) – to present the club with a $72,200 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the provincial government’s Ontario Trillium Foundation to help it to continue to train the next generation of Olympians and develop a plan to involve more people in the sport.

Coe cited the many “wonderful bike trails” in Durham Region as reason enough for the Province to support the club. “(This) will allow club members to provide ways for children to embrace the outdoors, connect with nature, and be involved with an affordable activity that many Durham-based families can enjoy together.”

Some of the province’s best mountain bike trails, with colourful names such as Superfly and Skin and Bones, are in Uxbridge.

Durham Shredders will use the two-year grant money to enhance its programs to attract more women into the fold, help with staffing costs for a part-time program manager, build new organizational and engagement strategies, upgrade the website, offer training opportunities for staff and volunteers and reduce financial barriers to joining the club.

“We are delighted and honoured to have been chosen as a recipient of the Ontario Trillium Resilient Communities Fund grant,” said Durham Shredders Director Alice Hogg. “As a grassroots cycling organization, this valuable support will empower us to enhance our programming to align with the needs of our community and reduce barriers to participation. We are eager to get started and are grateful for the opportunity to ensure more youth will have access to the physical, social and mental benefits of cycling.”

The mission of the Durham Shredders Mountain Bike Club is to get kids on bikes to improve their physical, mental and social health. Since 2017, the club has provided programming for youth which is suitable for all levels of riders from beginner to competitive.

The club hosted a provincial Mountain Bike Race in Uxbridge on May 4-5, which included Ontario Cup races as well as a variety of community events.

“Non-profit organizations across Ontario deliver programming that makes a difference,” said Ontario Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Neil Lumsden. “Our government wants to ensure that these programs and spaces remain the heart of communities across our province.”

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