TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Looking for a way to get your child motivated, exercising and outside a little more?
The Jr. El Tour Youth Cycling Program may be what you're looking for.
Director Scott Blanchard said the free program seeks to "create a long-term positive impact on the health and fitness of at-risk children by developing and fostering a connection to cycling."
Prior cycling experience and equipment are not required, thanks to donations from several sponsors.
A bike, jersey, safety gear and professional training are provided at no cost. If the child completes the 12-week program, rides in the El Tour de Tucson event and participates in a few follow-up rides, they get to keep the bike and gear.
The program is open to children ages 9-13 but space is limited. Applications can be submitted at http://jreltour.org/application-form through Sunday, Aug. 7.
While the program may not cost anything, it does require some commitment from the child and family members.
The kids receive training three times per week, including sessions with personal trainers, and education on sports nutrition, road safety and bicycle maintenance. Parent participation is encouraged on all rides and in the El Tour race.
"Our goal is to give children all the tools they need to reach and maintain their health and fitness goals in a fun, organized and supportive team environment," Blanchard said. "We strive to provide high-quality coaching and individual attention to all the children in the program, so that they can become responsible and safe cyclists while working toward their goals."