Spending one day at a Sprockids event gave me a very good picture of the purpose of their program: to motivate kids to be outside and to teach the value of challenging oneself with peers. These days it seems too easy for any child, teenager, or adult to be sucked into the vacuum of technology and spend hours of the day looking at a phone or TV. Sprockids combats this societal force by providing a healthy outlet for kids generally 8-13 years of age to come out to the trail or park and learn new bike riding skills. Most children already know how to ride a bike (if they don’t, initial bike riding classes are available), but Sprockids takes it to the next level by introducing obstacle courses and mountain biking trails to the newcomers.
Learning new technical skills that require dexterity and challenging oneself to push past fears inspires confidence and teaches conflict resolution. Both of which are big factors in the Sprockids motto. The leaders of Sprockids want to promote long lasting learning for the developing youth by incorporating goal setting and increasing self-esteem. When I talked to a few of the children before the event, many were very doubtful of their ability to complete some of the daunting segments of the obstacle course. However, soon after they received instruction and motivation from the coaches, the kids realized that they are capable of more than they previously thought. Another major factor of these events is the importance of how one acts around their peers and how to take care of the land. At first many of the tasks set forth by Sprockids are not easy for the young participants, but working through the challenges as a team and interacting with their peers, the kids are nearly always able to successfully come out on top. Without a doubt, the spirit of friendship and a sense of camaraderie is ignited.
Another principal goal for the relatively new Sprockids is to expand their program to different places around San Diego in 2023 They want to provide wide-spread access to communities that normally have difficulties in participating in such programs by offering scholarship opportunities and complimentary bicycle gear. Sprockids wants every child in the San Diego community to have the opportunity to learn all the important skills that getting outside on a bike has to offer.
By Evan Smith