EF and Cannondale announce grants for Tribal and HBCU collegiate cycling programs

by Abby Mickey

photography by Navajo Technical University

Three universities in the USA will launch new cycling programs this year and EF Pro Cycling, Cannondale, and USA Cycling have come on board to support them. Two of the recipients of the new grant program are Tribal College and Universities, or TCU, and the third is a Historically Black college and university, HBCU.

The Institute of American Indian Arts and Navajo Technical University are the first schools at any TCU to have a cycling program and Johnson C. Smith University will host the first women’s cycling team at a HBCU.

“We have the ability to change cycling, to grow the sport for everyone, and I’m excited to see where this road takes all of us,” said CEO of EF Education First-Nippo Jonathan Vaughters.

“We are excited to support the Institute of American Indian Arts, Navajo Technical University, and Johnson C. Smith University as they pave the way to a more inclusive future in cycling. I’m hopeful that in the coming years we will see more diversity at the highest levels of the sport — and that our team can help discover and develop riders who haven’t enjoyed the same access or opportunities many cyclists take for granted,” said Vaughters. 

EF Pro Cycling, Cannondale, and USA Cycling will offer anything from equipment, mentorship, coaching, and finances to the three new collegiate teams.

“The benefits of this grant are far-reaching and will have a positive impact on recruitment and the health and well-being of our student body, who are primarily Indigenous from the United States and First Nations from Canada,” said Institute of American Indian Arts President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee Nation). “IAIA, one of 37 Tribal Colleges in the U.S., hasn’t had a cycling program, and this opportunity will expand our athletics program while encouraging leadership and healthy lifestyles in our students.”