The Nine13sports staff was rather busy last week as we delivered our nationally-recognized and renowned Kids Riding Bikes programs to just over 500 youth in the Indianapolis area last week. The majority of that number derived from six Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis units that we served last week across the metropolitan area. Each day of the week for the next five weeks our staff has the opportunity to make a genuine and positive impact with hundreds of youth at six different BGCI units: The Lilly Boys and Girls Club; Jonathan Jennings Boys & Girls Club; Wheeler-Dowe Boys & Girls Club; Keenan-Stahl Boys & Girls Club; Finish Line Boys & Girls Club; and, the LeGore Boys & Girls Club.
Nine13sports has had reoccurring relationships with all of the aforementioned units except for Jonathan Jennings, thus we’ve seen many familiar (and eager) faces on our bikes already to this point. While our hands were full last week at the BGCI units, that doesn’t mean that was the only place you saw Kids Riding Bikes. On Monday morning, we worked with the kids at the St. Joan of Arc Catholic School Summer Camp on 42nd and Central. Moreover, on Thursday morning and afternoon, we brought Kids Riding Bikes to the Diabetic Youth Foundation of Indiana Camp Until a Cure and had the privilege of engaging with their incredible kids and staff. A special thank to The Double “Q” Foundation for partnering with us for this remarkable day!
We show no signs of slowing down this week as not only do we have the Boys & Girls Clubs and St. Joan of Arc on the schedule again, but we also begin programming with the Junior Achievement of Central Indiana and our programs with the Indy Parks & Recreation that we just announced last week (full press release here).
Thank you very much to our partners at the CICF Foundation, Finish Line Youth Foundation, Indiana Sports Corp, LIDS Foundation, and the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for helping further our mission of promoting the art of the bicycle and all the benefits that it can deliver to thousands of youth this summer!
On any given day at a Nine13sports Kids Riding Bikes programming site, a spectator will see hundreds of eager youth engage on our bicycle simulators and fearlessly persevere to conquer each and every course. However, every now and then, we’ll see a student with a confused look on their face as they attempt to pedal backwards on our fixed gear SUN Bicycles. We always declare to them, “you can only pedal forward on our bikes, not backwards.”
While this statement literally is true when riding our bikes, it’s also figuratively became an unofficial motto of not only our programs, but our daily operations as well. Speaking in terms of program operations, our staff underlines this message to the kids who perhaps are struggling, or have never ridden a bicycle before, that you can only pedal forward to get to where you want to be. Obstacles will arise, and hurdles will get in your way; however, with some good old-fashioned perseverance, you will get to where you want to be. You will be able to pedal the bicycle all the way to the finish line and, simultaneously, recognize the virtues that are resiliency and determination.
This unified and lasting message applies not only to the kids during our programming, but over the course of Nine13’s albeit short, yet considerable history. There have been several roadblocks that we’ve had to knock down or try to maneuver over the pat five years; we had to hear the word, “no” more than we’d feel comfortable revealing; naysayers ran abundant as we’ve worked tirelessly to, “Keep Pedaling Forwards,” in the face of adversity and uncertainty.
As an organization, we feel 100% comfortable advocating this phrase because, quite frankly, that’s how we’ve grown to be at the position we’re at today. Serving 10,000 individual youth in 2016 alone after serving only 1,000 in 2012 . Going from a staff of 3 to a staff of 7 in less than 6 months. Working tirelessly to not only serve the youth we’re privileged to serve, but also to give back to our community and find new and innovative ways to highlight the impact our invaluable partners and supporters are having on our organization as a whole.
It hasn’t always been easy. However, as most of us know, nothing worth having in life usually is. We love highlighting this message to the kids to never stop moving forward no matter what they’re doing in life. And, if they ever need an example of how to apply this message outside of Kids Riding Bikes, well, our staff has a story or two that we’re sure will help them grasp the idea.
Nine13sports is extremely excited to welcome our newest board member, Mike McQuillen. Mike has been a long time supporter and volunteer of Kids Riding Bikes, and will be a great addition to our board as he has spent much of his life dedicated to public service.
McQuillen is a lifelong Indy native. He graduated from Perry Meridian High School in 1983. After that he attended the University of Indianapolis where he received a B.A. in Political Science in 1987.
He and his wife Polly were married in 1989 and settled here in Indianapolis. In 1996 McQuillen founded PoliticalParade.com, an antiques and collectibles business specializing in political memorabilia. Over the past two decades he and his wife have worked to build the business, and as a result he maintains his status as a proud Hoosier business owner to this day.
In 2007, McQuillen was elected to the Indianapolis City Council. He was then re-elected in 2011 and 2015. McQuillen was then elected Majority Whip in 2009 and then Majority Leader in both 2010 and 2011. Currently McQuillen serves as the Minority Leader on the Council proudly representing District #4. During his time on the council McQuillen has served on and/or as chairman on many committees including, but not limited to: the Rules and Public Policy Commitee, the Municipal Corporations Committee, and the Economic Development Committee.
McQuillen’s volunteer work includes his time serving on the Capital Improvement Board, his membership on Visit Indy and Indianapolis Downtown Inc., serving on various boards and committees in Lawrence Township where he has lived since 1996, among many other things. He has served in various roles for the Marion County Republican Party including serving as Chairman of the MCRCC. Mike has spent many years volunteering in Lawrence Township including Crestview Elementary where his wife serves as the school’s librarian.
Nine13sports could not be more excited to welcome this lifelong community champion our board. His desire to make Indianapolis a better place to live and work, and his many years of experiences doing just that will be invaluable to Nine13sports and the kids we serve.
As of today, I’ve officially been a part of the Nine13sports team for a month and I wanted to write a short post about my experiences integrating into this already amazing organization.
On my first day in a school, Lauren Casey from RTV6 came to shoot a promo about us reaching the top 5 of the Tip the Hat social media contest sponsored by the Lids Foundation. A week later, we found out we’d won. While I wouldn’t call this a traditional start to even a very nontraditional job, it was exciting. From the minute I dawned the Nine13sports logo and started getting kids on bikes I knew that this was an opportunity to be cherished. Not everyone gets to spend their day biking around the city or blowing up giant tents, but I can say with certainty I’ve done both in my first month.
The most important part about our jobs, and mine specifically, is of course the children. Getting up early, traveling to schools, unloading our equipment, and getting #kidsridingbikes is the foundation of what we do. In just a month, I’ve met kids from all over Indiana and seen their faces light up with joy when they come running into gym and see ‘the bike people.’ We truly have a job unlike any other. In my short amount of time with Nine13, I’ve seen kids of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities experience the joy of bike riding.
As this school year winds down, I’m excited to see what summer will have in store for us. Working for Nine13sports has been a blast so far and I’ve got a feeling there’s a lot more to come…
Our staff has been quite busy, to say the least, over the past six days as close to 600 Indianapolis Public Schools students at four different schools have participated in our unique and engaging Kids Riding Bikes programming in either their traditional physical education class or after school program.
Our journey started on Wednesday, May 3rd, as we wrapped up our three days of programs at Merle Sidener Gifted Academy; the first IPS school that we delivered our programming to back in 2012 and that’s been a reoccurring school site of ours ever since. We had the privilege of getting all of the youth at Sidener on our bikes and enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with many of the youth that we’ve worked with before. On that same day as our staff was winding programs at Sidener, another part of our staff was on their way to Meredith Nicholson School 96 to setup for a brand new after school program called, “RightFit,” a partnership between IPS and the Indianapolis Indians. The “RightFit” program combines food, fitness, and mentoring to help hundreds of IPS students. The students also get to hang out with local police officers, firefighters, college students, and members of the National Guard.
After an eventful Wednesday, our team still wasn’t done serving the youth of Indianapolis as we spent our day Thursday getting Kids Riding Bikes at Clarence Farrington School 61 on the west side of Indianapolis. This is our second stint working with the youth at 61 and we’re looking forward to spending the next four weeks working with all of their incredible youth and teachers.
We concluded our week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as we volunteered to help setup for Rev Indy, which is Methodist Health Foundation’s marquee event to raise funds to provide support for Indiana University Health Statewide Trauma program. After assisting with Rev on Friday, our team hit the ground running on Monday as we brought Kids Riding Bikes to the youth of Thomas D. Gregg School 15 for the second time. We’ll be here the entirety of this week getting all of their students on our bicycle simulators and educating them on the countless reasons physical fitness, in addition to life skills such as teamwork, hard work, and determination, are important to their overall health and well-being.
It’s been a joy and honor for our staff to excite the youth of our city on physical fitness and living an active and healthy lifestyle. Cultivating relationships and bonds with the students is something that we enjoy doing each and every single day we get Kids Riding Bikes. Cycling as a form of leisure, transportation, recreation, and sport are all growing in our city and we love highlighting to the kids how valuable of a tool it can be to them not only now, but as they grow into adulthood.
The Nine13sports team is excited to announce that we’ll be volunteering this Friday for Saturday’s Rev Indy 2017, which is the Methodist Health Foundation’s marquee event for Indiana University Health and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to raise funds to provide support for Indiana University Health Statewide Trauma programs, including medical services for drivers and patrons of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Guests will dine on driver-inspired cuisine prepared by Indy’s top chefs and enjoy a variety of music and entertainment while mingling with IndyCar drivers and racing legends.
Nine13sports Founder and CEO, Tom Hanley, has had the honor of being a part of the Volunteer Committee this year for Rev Indy 2017 and pictured the event being an ideal and logical team building experience for the staff at Nine13sports.
“The month of May and Rev have and will always hold a special place in my heart,” Hanley said. “The opportunity to come together as a team and assist our friends at the Foundation and IMS was a no-brainer. Community engagement and enrichment has been the foundation of our growth and events such as REV is a perfect way to highlight the significance of that.”
You can find the Nine13sports team at the, ‘Racing Capital of the World,’ on Friday afternoon helping with setup and other last minute tuneups before one of the many preeminent events in Indianapolis in the month of May. Once we’re done volunteering, you can catch some of our staff at the event the following evening celebrating our amazing city and all the month of May has to offer!
Monday was a historic and significant chapter in the short history of fast-growing Central Indiana nonprofit, Nine13sports, as the youth organization administered three events for the first time throughout Central Indiana. The organization’s two full-time operations teams ran the nonprofit’s traditional programming, Kids Riding Bikes; while the additional staff members took the seniors of Shortridge High School on a bike tour of Indianapolis for their Senior Day!
The eventful day started in the morning as both operations teams departed the office for their respective programming sites. Team Phoenix delivered our Kids Riding Bikes programming for the third time to students at Mill Creek West Elementary School in the Mill Creek Community School Corporation. Upwards of 150 students ranging from Kindergartners all the way up to the 5th grade class reveled in the chance to get moving on our bicycle simulators and to learn more about physical fitness. We’ll be there on Friday for our last day of programs!
At the same time, our Team Panda operations team was busy getting Kids Riding Bikes for the last time at Reagan Elementary School in Brownsburg. This has been our second year delivering our innovative bicycle program to the students at Reagan and it was just as fun-filled and rewarding as it was last year. Our programming in Brownsburg and Mill Creek were both powered by our friends at Hendricks Regional Health, who’re partnering with us to bring our programs to thousands of youth throughout the county through school programs and special events. Many of the students said they remember riding our bikes at the Hendricks County 4-H Fair last year and can’t wait to do it again this year!
In the afternoon, our executive team took the seniors of Shortridge High School on the canal at White River State Park for their Senior Day! The afternoon was spent exploring Indianapolis on two wheels and educating the 60 senior students on the lengthy and rich history of the city of Indianapolis and all of the monumental stops along the canal. Stops were made at the USS Indianapolis Memorial, Project 9/11 Indianapolis, and many more.
All in all, close to 350 students throughout Central Indiana in one way, shape, or form experienced the timeless and lasting joy of the bicycle. We sure our proud of our staff and the relationships with our partners and supporters that we’ve developed over the years to be able to have days such as this one!
Indianapolis, IN ─ March 21, 2017 ─ Nine13sports has received a $300,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to expand Kids Riding Bikes program offerings in three school districts in central Indiana. This comes as Nine13sports continues to grow to meet the high demand for its innovative bicycle based education programs and services.
This grant will enable Nine13sports to bring its programs to 40 schools per year four times each over the next two years and allow for 40 community events and programs to also be served. This will include 30 IPS Schools as well as new opportunities for schools within Washington, Pike, and Lawrence townships. The estimated impact over the next two years of this partnership includes serving 20,000 individual youth as Nine13sports works to not only create a more fit and healthy generation of youth, but to build self-esteem, confidence, and an understanding of teamwork.
Nine 13 promotes health, wellness and exercise for local youth between the ages of 5 and 18 through the Kids Riding Bikes program, which it launched in 2012 in central Indiana schools and community organizations. The Kids Riding Bikes program integrates the traditional bicycle with technology and video enhancement to simulate a real-time cycling experience in a safe environment.
More than 70 percent of Nine 13’s student participants are eligible for federally subsidized free or reduced lunch programs, and many of the youth have never had the opportunity to be on a bicycle. Tom Hanley, Nine 13’s chief executive officer, calls bicycles the “great equalizer” that can put youth of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds on relatively even ground. In addition to improving participants’ health and fitness, the program is designed to promote community, teamwork and mutual respect.
“We could not be more excited for what this grant will mean for Nine13sports and the kids we are privileged to serve daily,” Hanley said. “It’s no secret we have a long waiting list of schools hoping to receive Nine13sports programming, and this will help us continue to grow and meet that demand. We are excited to utilize the opportunity this significant grant presents as a catalyst to expand in central Indiana, and to further engage the philanthropic community, as well as the corporate community, as we strive to get more Kids Riding Bikes.”
About Nine13sports: Nine13sports® is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes health, wellness, and exercise for local youth between the ages of 5 and 18 through our Kids Riding Bikes® programs. We have created a unique initiative in which we have integrated the traditional bicycle with technology to provide a turnkey product for youth programs, schools, and other community organizations. In addition to individual betterment of health and fitness, our programs promote community, teamwork, and mutual respect designed to foster a lasting impact. For additional information please visit www.nine13sports.org or contact email@example.com.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.
To Team Nine13sports,
Meredith Nicholson Elementary had the opportunity to welcome Nine13sports into our school and share their biking program with our students on March 6, 7 and 8. I thoroughly enjoyed the enthusiasm of the students! They were so excited to participate with the bikes during Physical Education class. As an educator, having the opportunity to witness the children’s excitement was rewarding and motivating to me; I was very glad to know that they were being introduced to using a bike for exercise and enjoyment; this could promote a healthy hobby that will yield lifelong benefits to their health!
The Nine13sports Team was very willing to be flexible and incorporate all of my classes, even during a prep time. I appreciated this so much, because it resulted in all students having the opportunity to experience the benefits of exercising their bodies while socializing as a group. The Team was so willing to accommodate each student’s particular needs without hesitation. I feel that this was truly a highlight for these children and they will have great memories of the experience in Physical Education class!
Having Nine13sports definitely gave all the students a great physical workout while providing a learning experience at the same time. I was blessed to see how the Team approached each student and their unique needs individually. The Team cheered on all students by clapping and giving high fives to the entire group as individuals finished the course.
Lastly, one of the most touching moments happened when one of the 5th grade students, with special needs, said that she had never ridden a bike before and did not know how to do it. Members of the Nine13sports Team were so willing to work patiently with her; she was successful in pedaling a bike for the first time! She enjoyed it so much that she decided to stay on for the entire time and did not want to leave the bike! This was definitely a great experience for everyone involved.
On behalf of myself, staff and students at Meredith Nicholson Elementary IPS #96, we would like to say THANK YOU! Please come back and visit us again!
IPS School 96
While it’s implausible for most individuals my age to reflect back on their childhood and not call to mind countless memories involving their bicycle, it’s a different day and age in which we all live in. As most of us know, kids today are not outside as much as they should be. The evolution of technology, video game consoles, and social media platforms are dragging more and more children inside the home. This is a problem. However, that isn’t what this post is about.
This post is about the feeling I get (and the rest of our staff here at Nine13sports gets) when they help a child ride a bicycle for the first time and the big smile that fills their face after they find out they can do it. Consistently, 10% of the youth we work with here in Central Indiana (1,000 out of 10,000 in 2016) have never been on a bicycle before they’ve been on our bikes at Nine13sports, and that’s all ages. While that’s an alarming number and one that we certainly want to see lower in the near and distant future, it gives our staff amble opportunity to have a permanent and fruitful influence on the children.
Obviously, at first the majority of the students we work with that have never been on a bike before get relatively discouraged when they have trouble getting the pedals to move. However, after some explicit instructions from our staff and a little encouragement, the kids slowly start to figure it out. The feelings of frustration and disappointment disappear and are replaced by feelings of enthusiasm and joy. They recognize that with just a little bit of perseverance and determination they can ride a bike just like the rest of their peers.
Seeing moments such as this one on a daily basis is an incredibly heartwarming sight for our staff. It accomplishes our vision of using the art of the bicycle to teach and positively influence today’s youth. It signifies to the respective kids that they can do anything they set their mind to. That they can set their goals high and believe they can achieve them. That even when life gets hard and they can’t seem to figure it out, all they need is some good old-fashioned determination and resiliency to help them overcome the hurdles and barriers in front of them.
It’s incredible to our staff that a tool as simple as the bicycle can have such a powerful and worthy impact on so many youth of today. We are looking forward to showing more and more youth in 2017 how much they can achieve not only on two wheels and during Kids Riding Bikes, but in life as well.