Junior programs are divided into two groups:
As our programs are evolving rapidly and becoming more and more popular, we are making changes regularly in order to cater for as many participants as possible, in a safe and fun environment. Please continue to check the Junior pages regularly for updates.
The GMBC Young Guns program is a fun, inclusive MTB program which aims to keep teenage Boys and Girls (13-18 years old) riding bikes through to adulthood.
The program forms an integral part of our clubs Junior Development Program and provides the vital link between our “Dirt Squirts” (3-12 years old) and open age riding. Meeting once a month at various locations the program varies between social rides, skills sessions, race reconnaissance and adventure rides. In January 2020 we will be also holding a Summer Camp in Bright, Victoria (details coming soon!)
Our sessions are run by our bank of Club Coaches, Junior Mentors, and recognised Junior MTB Coaches. All Coaches are accredited, hold a working with children certification and hold first aid certificates. To find our more about our upcoming events visit our club calendar or our junior specific social media platforms, Facebook, GMBC Junior Development Program or Instagram, @gmbcjunior.
All participants are required to be a member of MTBA. Membership offers multiple benefits from insurance through to discounted race entry. If you’re unsure, give the MTBA free 8 week trial a go first!
If you have any questions feel free to contact us either via social media or click on our contacts page.
What is a Dirt Squirt ?
Dirt Squirts is GMBC’s junior program for boys and girls between 3-12 years old who love to ride their mountain bike!
We have a variety of events and skills rides at the You Yangs, Anglesea and ‘The Hill MTB Park’in Newtown throughout the year. These events are structured using MTBA’s Junior Policy to progressively introduce kids into mountain biking in a fun, safe environment. You can view the MTBA junior policy here.
Your child can become a GMBC Dirt Squirt member for 12 months via MTBA’s online registration for just $45 or use the 8 week free trial to get started!
Frequently asked questions –
Do I need my own bike ?
- Yes. You need your own, suitable bike in good working order and a well fitted Australian Standards approved helmet.
- Please ensure that the brakes and gears are in good working order and bar plugs are installed
- Young kids (3-4 year olds) can use balance bikes to develop their skills riding on the dirt – no bikes with training wheels please as they are unsuitable for riding off road and encourage bad riding habits (we have two balance bikes available to test out at our events)
- All riders must carry water – water bottles or camelbacks are most suitable (leaders will carry some backup water on warmer days).
- Optional/Encouraged items include sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves (long finger).
Do I need to be a Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) member ?
- No. If you are not a member, then you must purchase a Participation Permit each time your child rides and will cost $7 for MTBA insurance and for Dirt Squirts Racing an $18 participation permit fee applies.
- However, MTBA membership for Dirt Squirts is only $45 per year – they also offer an 8 week free trial for new members. This covers some medical and public liability insurance – It’s a good investment if you’re going to come along to a few events. (And much less paper work for all of us!) – Please ensure that you tick the Geelong Mountain Bike Club box when registering!
- Once you are an MTBA member, GMBC membership for Dirt Squirts is FREE and entitles the child to their very own Dirt Squirts jersey at a subsidised (below cost) price of $40 – sizes XXXXS, XXXS, XXS, XS, Small.
What is GMBC’s policy on age limits for Dirt Squirts participation ?
- GMBC uses day of age on the day of the event to determine age category. If the event is part of a series – i.e. Dirt Squirts Summer series or Dirt Squirts Winter series, then it is their age at the last event in the series. This allows riders to complete the series in the one age group eg. Under 6 must be 3-5 years of age, Under 8 must be 6-7 years of age, Under 11 must be 8-10 years of age and Under 13 must be 11-12 years of age. We believe that this is in the best interest of the childs progressive development and enjoyment of their mountain biking into the future.
- Please be aware that other clubs may have different policies regarding age restrictions!
- Cycling Victoria runs the Victorian Schools MTB series which allows riders turning of age in the year of the event to participate – i.e. rider turning 9/10 during 2019 will race in under 11 and rider turning 11/12 during 2019 will race in Under 13’s.
- At National level, MTBA permits riders of age during the year of the final race/National Championships in the series – this is done for those who will represent Australia in the World Championships later in the year.
How much do the rides/races cost?
- MTBA members – $5 per skills session/ $15 per race event ( cheaper for online entries )
- Non-MTBA – $12 per skillls session/$33 per race event ( includes – $7 social ride participation permit / $18 race permit )
- Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your skills session as we do start at the advertised time.
- Registration for our races closes 15 minutes before race start to allow all competitors to complete a practice lap and allow organisers to prepare for the race event.
Who leads and organises the rides/races?
- Experienced coaches lead the Dirt Squirts skills sessions with other coaches occasionally helping out too.
- GMBC also has several variously qualified Skills Coaches to help the kids enjoy their mountain biking in a fun, safe environment.
- DS Parent helpers also support the DS program in various roles.
- We are all volunteers and active GMBC club members committed to providing a fun, safe environment for kids to enjoy mountain biking.
How do I purchase a GMBC subsidised Dirt Squirts jersey ?
- Turn up to one of our Dirt Squirts Skills rides or Race Events with your GMBC / MTBA membership card.
- Jerseys are available in XXXXS, XXXS, XXS, XS, S sizes
- Sold below cost to members only for $40 each
Can my Mum or Dad ride with me?
- At our skills sessions, we like to encourage kids to become independent on their bikes, however we understand that beginners may require a little extra encouragement from their parents. Parents are free to take advantage of the time to themselves and take off for a ride while our Level 1 Mountain Bike coaches and ‘Registered Dirt Squirts Parent Helpers’ take the kids for a ride. However, we do require a small number of registered parent helpers to assist with supervising each group of kids for our skills sessions.
- During our race events we ask that parents do not ride along side and coach their kids, but feel free to cheer them on from the sidelines. We are striving to to acheive a fun and friendly race environment for everyone. Our emphasis is on participation and maximising kids enjoyment and safety in our race events.
How can I become a Dirt Squirts volunteer ?
- Just turn up at one of our events and offer to help with course marshalling, fruit preparation, number plate collection, set up or pack up.
- Our events don’t run without the dedication of enthusiastic parents to help create the fun, family friendly environment that we are famous for.
How do I contact the Dirt Squirts crew?
- You can email the Dirt Squirts crew at firstname.lastname@example.org – please allow a couple days for a response as we are volunteers trying to get in a bit of ride time for ourselves too!!
- Emails will be sent out to remind you of our major events – if you want to be included on this list please contact us.
- You can also check out the GMBC facebook page for regular updates.
- We also have a ‘GMBC Junior Development’ Program Facebook page for all relevant information on junior mountain biking. It is a closed group, so you will have to request to be a member.