Name: Julie Gold
Team: Anacortes Middle and High School Composite
Years with League: 4 years
How did you start coaching?
I started coaching because some crazy guys roped me into getting a team started in Anacortes, including my son who was in 8th grade at the time. I love working with teens in the outdoors where the rules of engagement are not as rigid as traditional sports.
What do you like best about it?
Mountain biking has a lot of forms of expression, and kids can enjoy it for so many different reasons, making it their own for life. The majority of our kids meet up in the off-season and go on their own rides with each other. Friendships through this team are transcending age and gender.
What’s the hardest or most challenging part about it?
>We have 50 students on our team this year, from beginners to national level racers, so meeting the needs of such a range of riders is challenging.
Describe an inspiring moment for you:
It is always inspiring to see kids taking a chance by trying something new -whether it is going over a new feature, or racing for the 1st time, or just signing up. Last year, we had a girl sign up after moving here from the Mid-West, having never mountain biked before and not really knowing other kids on the team. I admire that bravery!
How have you seen the mission fulfilled through your work?
In Anacortes, we have really taken the mission of student leadership to heart. We have such a great group of high school riders who are committed to mentoring younger riders through encouragement, instruction and example.
Why do you think this program is important for students?
This program allows teens to spend time in nature in a way that meets their need for healthy risk-taking.
How has coaching impacted you and/or the rest of your life?
Coaching has given me the opportunity to connect with such an awesome group of people in my community, other coaches, parents, kids and community leaders.
What advice would you give to someone considering coaching?
There are a lot of different niches to fill in coaching; we have a coach who just started mountain biking 1 year ago and she provides important insight into the learning curve of mountain biking, as well as analyzing good trails for beginners. She models life-long learning at its best.
Give one word that describes your experience with the League: