The SMGS Mountain Biking School of Excellence Program has been designed to give students a foundation in down-hill, free-ride and cross-country mountain biking. The program aims to increase riding skills, improve techniques and to give students the opportunity to develop a pathway to national level industry certification in trail design and construction. The school has partnered with the Jindabyne Trail Stewardship for this purpose and it allows students to gain practical experience through maintaining local infrastructure. Specifically, this relates to applying trail design and construction techniques within the local environment.

The students have spent four weeks discussing the theory behind effective and long-term impacts of trails on the local environment and have now started applying these specific skills to two local trails in the Mill Creek area. They are now able to instantly recognise trail deterioration and are able to apply skills to improve and fix sections of these trails. As a result, these trails are made safer for the general public who utilise them.

In terms trail improvements made by the students, they first removed unwanted debris from the trail and then began the task of widening a very narrow single track. They were able to improve the drainage from the trail to minimise water damage to the trail and surrounding areas. This involved adding grade reversals, fixed berms for added safety, as well as building new rollers and jumps to create interesting new features.

I would like to acknowledge the work of the students involved and extend a special thank you to the President of the Jindabyne Trail Stewardship, Craig.