Scottish Schools’ Mountain Bike Championships Scoop Industry Award

The inaugural Scottish Schools’ Mountain Bike Championships held at Comrie Croft in Perthshire has been named ‘Event of the Year’ at the 2023 Scottish Cycling Awards.

Some 300 secondary school pupils from across Scotland – from 37 schools in 18 local authorities – took to the trails at Comrie Croft in September as part of the new event.

The championships is a partnership between leading independent day school Morrison’s Academy, Comrie Croft and Scottish Cycling aimed 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. 

Competitors travelled from all over Scotland, with 48 female riders and 95 participants dipping their toes in MTB racing for the first time.

The Scottish Cycling Awards brought the cream of the country’s cycling community together to recognise and celebrate the year’s successes. 

And there was cause for further celebration on the night when former Morrison’s Academy pupil, Charlie Aldridge – who captured the Men’s under 23 Cross-Country Mountain Bike title at the 2023 UCI World Championships – was recognised as Scottish Cycling ‘Male Rider of the Year’. 

Colin Nicoll, Assistant Rector at Morrison’s Academy, said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted to win the Scottish Cycling ‘Event of the Year’. 

‘When we started this journey our objective was to create more opportunities for young Scottish racers to compete in grassroots competitions and give those new to the sport a chance to get involved regardless of their experience. 

‘Most importantly, we wanted to put on an inclusive and fun event which would encourage youngsters to keep working hard to reach their racing ambitions. 

‘With an overwhelming level of uptake from schools and glowing feedback from pupils, teachers and parents following the event, we are confident we achieved our goals. 

‘But we couldn’t have done this without the support of some fantastic individuals and businesses.

Morrison’s Academy pupil, Oliver Elliott,14, came in 16th place in the Senior race at the SSMBCs and believes grassroots events like this help to give young riders the chance to take mountain biking to another level. 

He said: ‘Mountain biking is a massive part of my life but it can be hard as a developing racer to access competitive opportunities. 

‘Having a new MTB competition right on my doorstep is fantastic and I’m looking forward to the challenge next year. Competitions like this encourage riders to step out of their comfort zone and learn new skills but are most importantly a lot of fun.’