PRESS RELEASE: World Class Academy
While sport-specific schools have existed in skiing, snowboarding, kayaking and a multitude of other sports for decades, a mountain bike specific high school has not existed... until now. World Class Academy is changing that in 2020 with the creation of The MTB Academy; a traveling, mountain biking, high school.
What World Class Academy is:
Current student Mateo Negri blasting down a Peruvian trail after a day of school
World Class Academy is an accredited private high school that combines academics, athletics, travel, and cultural immersion. It is a school that pushes alternative education to new heights with a firm belief that quality education comes from interacting with the world around us.
World Class Academy is a fully accredited private high school. It is based out of White Salmon, Washington, but the students are rarely there. The school has four different programs for four different adventure sports- climbing, kayaking, kiteboarding, and now mountain biking. The original program, World Class Kayak Academy was founded in 2001. Since then the school has traveled to six continents, dozens of countries and graduated hundreds of students.
The WCA Education Model:
MTB Academy students Mateo Negri and Joaquin Lopez working through some mathmatics
At World Class Academy, education always comes first. This is what separates the school from many other “sports” academies - the goal is not to churn out professional athletes. The goal is to take advantage of a student’s passion for their sport and utilize that as a vehicle to enhance their education, travel, experience new cultures and participate in their sport at the best locations in the world. Has the school produced some professional athletes? Most definitely. But athletic prowess always comes after a student's education and character development at WCA.
At all four schools of World Class Academy, each quarter of school takes place in a different country. Within those quarters, the school travels to different areas to explore new terrain and cultures.
At the MTB Academy, the students have the opportunity to mountain bike every day in some of the world’s best places to ride a mountain bike. However, Academics always come before riding. If a student does not complete their homework - they are not allowed to go mountain biking that day. If their overall grade in a course falls below 70% - they are not allowed to go biking until they raise their grades. This is the World Class “secret sauce.” This model has caused dozens of students who were previously apathetic about academics to invest themselves in their education. Our class sizes are very small, and students go mountain biking with their teachers every day - which builds a solid connection between the students and their teachers. Our teachers/coaches not only support our students but share in the journey and experience as well."Do you want to ride the Whistler Mountain Bike Park today? Then you need to do your homework." It is that simple. This is why the school has experienced so much success, and why the parents love it.
The kind of riding that happens at The MTB Academy:
Program Director Riley Gardner at the Whistler Bike Park
The goal at the MTB Academy is to produce well-rounded mountain bikers. Depending on where the school is at a given time, student-athletes will ride shuttle-assisted enduro trails, long cross-country routes, make laps in bike parks, and more. Our goal is to create riders who are skilled at all types of riding, not just a single discipline. While riding, the team will often divide into smaller groups and venture to different trails in order for individuals to develop their skills in smaller groups and on varied terrain.
While MTBA is not a “race school” the school will give students the ability to participate in races when the school is near them. While competition-based success is not the sole purpose of the school’s athletic model, most students will be ready to excel competitively after spending an entire academic year riding all over the world with high-quality coaching.
The Spring 2020 Pilot Program:
Mateo Negri racing his way to a win in the first race of the Peruvian National Series
The MTB Academy is already taking place, right now, in Cusco Peru. It is lead by veteran World Class Academy teacher Riley Gardner and has 3 students. They are having classes five days a week and riding bikes every day. The pilot program is allowing the school to develop its tried-and-true methods with a new sport, essentially allowing the school to develop new systems and work out the kinks before having a larger group of students and staff for a full academic year.
Mateo Negri working on some technique after school
2020-2021 School Year Destinations:
Pilot Program Student Joaquin Lopez rallying through a turn
For the 2020-2021 school year, The MTB Academy will be traveling to some of the best mountain biking destinations. Each quarter is either 6 or 7 weeks long and is operated with a break where students go home.
Starting in late August, the first quarter will be held in British Columbia
, Canada. The school will be exploring and riding Whistler, Squamish, the Sunshine Coast, and North Vancouver. The school will travel to Utah
for the second quarter. The school will start the quarter riding the classics of Moab before moving to other locations like Hurricane and then ending in Sedona, Arizona. After winter break, the third quarter will be held in New Zealand
where the school will spend 7 weeks exploring the Southern Hemisphere’s best riding destination. The fourth quarter will be held in Portugal
where the school will spend 6 weeks exploring Portugal's trails in areas like Sintra and Lousã.
The 2019 graduating class at World Class Kayak Academy and Program Director Riley Gardner with a diploma holding graduate. Almost all of the graduates in these photos thought would not be able to afford World Class Academy... until they appliedWhere can I find out more?
Check out our website - worldclassacademy.com
- to learn more about the school.
There you can learn more about our academic model, our plan for next year, and how to apply!
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you interested in working for The MTB Academy? Go to our website to find out more. - by Riley Gardner