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National Collegiate Challenge Stage 3 - Community Service

By: Ana de Paula  March 04, 2021

Athlete’s and teams that give back to their local communities serve as ambassadors for the sport.

During hard times is when we see the importance of coming together as a community. The past year was nothing short of challenging, but it enabled many important and inspiring movements to come to life. The Stage 3 of the Collegiate Challenge was about making a social impact: contestants were asked to do community service projects in their communities. To determine the winners of the Community Service Challenge the judges looked at the following three criteria:

  • The social impact of the project – how did the project address a need in the community and what was its overall impact – how did it make a difference?
  • An original service effort – did the team create a service project to address a need in the community or did they join with other groups to support another service initiative?
  • The total number of participants as a function of the total members of the team. Did most of the team participate and did the project engage participants outside of the active members of the club community?

The judges were very impressed with all projects submitted and selecting the winner in both the Club and Varsity categories was very difficult. We're thankful for all of the participants across the country for making an impact, proving that cycling is more than just riding a bike. The results are in, and the winners of each category are:

Collegiate Club – University of California Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)

Collegiate Varsity – Milligan University (Elizabethton, TN)

University of California Berkeley: East Bay Hill Climb for Fire Relief

In addition to COVID, 2020 was devastating to California due to an unprecedented presence and intensity of wildfires. One of the worst fires, the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, occurred in August in Solano County, which is close to UC-Berkeley. The fire destroyed nearly 1,500 structures and damaged many more. UC-Berkeley did its first-ever Hill Climb Series, which simultaneously raised money for the Solano Community Foundation (SCF), the organization that provided disaster relief to Solano County, as well as provided a COVID-safe way for East Bay cyclists to participate in a racing event. The SCF Disaster Relief Fund provided grants for partnering organizations providing direct services, resources, and financial assistance to individuals and families affected by wildfires in Solano County.

Donations to the SCF Disaster Relief Fund, which totaled $3000, took the place of entree fees. 60 cyclists from all over the Bay Area, including dozens of cyclists not in Cal Cycling, participated. Prizes were awarded for overall (general classification) times and individual climbs, with multiple categories and equal prizes for men and women. Every week UC-Berkeley challenged cyclists to set their best time up well-known local climbs, such as Claremont Avenue and South Park Drive.

The reception of their event among local participants was overwhelmingly positive and they got people to push themselves harder than they ever have. They plan on doing a larger in-person version of the event next year, making this the first of many such events.

The final score is:
· Social Impact: 10
· Original Project: 10
· Total Participants as % of Team: 9

Milligan University

Since the team was not able to be together on campus, 15 members of the team all participated in local community service projects. The impressive list of community service done by the members are:

  • Helping coach Tehachapi mountain bike team: volunteering to help coaching a NICA team.
  • Trail Maintenance: helping at the local trails system in the rider's community.
  • Cold Turkey 5k: course Marshalling and volunteering at a local running event.
  • The River Ministry for Women: collecting donations for local women’s ministry.
  • High Hill Creek Mountain Bike Park: helping with ongoing trail maintenance for new local park.
  • Race Deconstruction: volunteering at a local race.
  • Kaylee's Closet - Turkey Trot 5k: raising money for Kaylee's Closet, an organization that donates clothing and supplies to foster families in Franklin, NC. Kaylee’s Closet helps foster families when they don’t have a long time to prepare for a child entering their homes. This 5k helped raise money in the community.
  • Drake Home Christmas Gifts: buying and shopping for gifts for a boys group home who can’t go home for Christmas, making sure every boy in the home gets Christmas gifts.
  • Firefighting: working as a volunteer firefighter for West Carter County Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Range Safety: holding a gun safety class for those who were getting guns.
  • Project Christmas child: giving children in poor countries a Christmas present and spreading the gospel through their gifts.
  • Out of school reading: assisting with homework, teaching kids to read, and keeping educational motivation high.
  • Trail Clean Up: clearing over 2 miles of hiking/biking trails near Howell, MI. The trail was so overrun you couldn’t walk it. Now you can ride easily down it.

The final score is:
· Social Impact: 10
· Original Project: 6
· Total Participants as % of Team: 10