Three hundred Secondary School pupils from across Scotland took part in the inaugural Scottish Schools’ Mountain Bike Championships (SSMBCs) at Comrie Croft in Perthshire last week (Thursday 14 September 2023).
Leading independent day school, Morrison’s Academy, in Crieff partnered with Comrie Croft and Scottish Cycling for this brand new event, which had participants from 37 schools from 18 different local authorities sign up.
The creation of the championships aims to increase opportunities for young established racers to compete against peers in grassroots competitions as well as to encourage novice riders to get involved with the sport. The competing teams travelled to the venue from as far north as Elgin all the way down to Peebles in the Scottish Borders.
Competitors were split into three race categories – Junior (S1/2), Intermediate (S3/4) and Senior (S5/6) – with individual, female and male races, as well as a mixed team race. With 300 riders taking to the trails of Comrie Croft – including 48 girls and around 95 riders making their first foray into MTB racing – it was a truly inclusive National Championship.
View S3/4 female race results.
Views S3/4 male race results.
View S5/6 female race results.
View S5/6 male race results.
Our S1/2 races required a manual lap count and are currently being checked prior to being released. We expect to be in a position to reveal these results week commencing 2nd October.
The debut SSMBCs were sponsored by Tiso, Right Medicine Pharmacy, Endura, BASP UK Ltd and Tradstocks Scottish Stone. Former Morrison’s Academy pupil, Charlie Aldridge – who recently won Gold in the U23 men’s cross-country at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships – handed out awards at the closing ceremony.
Andrew McGarva, Rector at Morrison’s Academy said: “The Scottish Schools’ Mountain Bike Championships started at Morrison’s Academy as a small seed of an idea and flourished into reality last Thursday at Comrie Croft. It was a phenomenal day of riding and racing; with more than 300 pupils from over 40 schools, making it the biggest school cycling competition of the year. The support and encouragement from former pupil, Charlie Aldridge UCI Under-23 Cross Country World Champion, was the icing on the cake for our participants.
“This was a wonderful example of a collaborative community event run in partnership with Comrie Croft, Scottish Cycling, numerous sponsors and most importantly pupils and schools across Scotland. We believe that outdoor education programmes bring tangible benefits to pupils; allowing them to step out of their comfort zones, build confidence, discover new strengths and passions and build new skills and friendships.
“This exciting partnership gives school children from across Scotland the chance to share their love of the outdoors, mountain biking, as well as giving those who are new the chance to get involved. We hope by experiencing a competition of this scale and meeting other like minded people that these youngsters will be inspired to follow their passions.”
Plans are now underway for next year’s championships so follow the SSMBC social media channels for more news!