We were fortunate to have Don Russell in our community. Montana cycling would not be what it is without him. Race official, promoter and coach– Don was dedicated, dependable, and generous with his time, energy and expertise. His heart was always in the right place. His tireless work on behalf of riders of all ages was instrumental in the development of Montana cycling.
He will be missed.
In honor of his legacy, the Don Russell Memorial Fund will further the next generation of Montana cycling. Contributions in memory of Don will help build the start-up funding needed to launch a statewide youth mountain bike league. This is going to take Montana cycling to the next level.
We hope you’ll join us in supporting this fund in his honor. We are all grateful to Don for his tireless work on behalf of the sport we love.
In Memory of Don Russell
About the Montana NICA League
Montana has joined NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling League), a middle and high school mountain bike league. Teams are forming now across the state led by local volunteers. Racing in Montana will begin in fall 2019. Montana’s own Olympic mountain biker, Sam Schultz, is launching the state league which was founded in 2017 as a non-profit 501(c)(3). Currently Sam and his statewide leadership team are developing funding, insurance, licensing, venue, training, and team infrastructure for coaches and youth statewide.
NICA “emphasizes the value of participation, camaraderie, positive sporting behavior, and well-being over competition–exposing students to the opportunity to build strong body, mind, and character through an equal and inclusive scholastic-based program.”
The Montana League will facilitate youth development through the sport of mountain biking, with about 90% of student-athletes being new to racing and 75% of them riding trails for the first time. The GRiT program will help the League empower more girls to join, who currently represent 20% of NICA national student-athlete participation. The League mission is to get more kids on bikes – not create a development program for high-end athletes (although neighboring states like Idaho do see a lot of talent throughout NICA participation). NICA in Montana will share the sport with both new and experienced riders.
NICA will call on friends and families to serve as volunteers for all aspects of putting on races and running the local teams. The League will connect youth to the community and build a foundation for a lifelong connection to trails and the great outdoors.
Support the league by contributing to the Don Russell Memorial Fund and signing up for more information.
Thank you Don
Don always showed up.
He was always on time. And for him, on time meant early.
With clipboard and stopwatch.
And his hat.
One of the most dependable people in bike racing.