Little Bellas 2019: All in all it was a good year for getting more girls on bikes
Little Bellas added 5 new chapters, mentored 1,100+ girls, loaned $13,000 worth of gear, and renewed the Pro Ambassador Program in 2019
12 years ago Little Bellas successfully created a mountain bike program for girls that was less about girls mountain biking and more about empowering young women. 2019 brings new proof that Little Bellas’ method of mentoring on mountain bikes has struck a chord with girls and women who showed up in droves nationwide to participate in the program.
2020 will see five new Little Bellas chapters
Each year new chapter applications flood Little Bellas’ modest world headquarters in northern Vermont and starting June 1, a team gets to work on vetting the applicants. Here are the new Little Bellas chapters for 2020:
Sometimes Little Bellas may host a “Give It a Whirl Day” to test out a location and give girls a taste of what Little Bellas is all about.
25 percent growth in 2019
This past year saw consistently high annual growth in the number of girls mountain biking with Little Bellas. Demand is so high that the organization tries its best to keep up, which is hardly a challenge to cry about.
“If we don’t grow we’re not getting all the girls on bikes that want to be on bikes,” said Sabra Davison, executive director of Little Bellas. “There’s no number that we’re aiming for each year – our goal is to grow in areas where we need new chapters. That goal is underscored by quality and mission-driven growth; it’s all about getting it right, not just getting it done.”
Little Bellas' Gear Up program literally put 35 girls on bikes in 2019
Since Day 1, Little Bellas has provided financial aid to every girl in need of assistance. Equipment, like bikes and helmets, was another barrier to participation that had to be shattered. Not every girl gets a new bike for Christmas so Little Bellas made sure that whoever needed a bike to use during a program got one. Thanks to sponsors, donors, and grants, Little Bellas created Gear Up to guarantee an equal opportunity for each participant.
82¢ of each incoming dollar goes toward getting more girls mountain biking
Overwhelming support for Little Bellas is evident in nearly all aspects of the organization. This support makes it possible for Little Bellas to invest 82¢ of every dollar raised into getting more girls biking. The money goes toward program lead stipends, mentor training, mentor appreciation initiatives, products, jerseys, venue fees, supplies, liability insurance, and background checks. The other 18¢ goes toward operating costs including fundraising costs, staff training, office space, software, hardware, printing, some shipping, staff travel, and legal and accounting services.
26 pro athletes signed up for Little Bellas’ Pro Ambassador Program in 2019
Starting in 2018, Little Bellas formally invited pro athletes to join efforts and share their love of sport with the next generation. Many of them returned in 2019 despite demanding training, traveling, and racing schedules. They took time throughout 2019 to drop in on Little Bellas programs in their areas to help mentor and empower girls through mountain biking.
As we ride off toward the future, Little Bellas leaves 2019 in better health than ever before, thanks to the sum and strength of its many parts. Those include Cochran’s Ski Area, the Board of Directors, the staff, mentors, sponsors, supporters, and the thousands of people who share Little Bellas’ mission to get more girls on bikes!
For a quick read that’ll make you go “Hmmmm…” check out Little Bellas 2019: a recap Harper’s Index style