1. 1 Why Duke of Edinburgh and mountain biking? The two are a very natural fit but find out why….

    A Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award is so much more than a 'pat on the back' for completing a programme of activities. It is recognition of a young person's successful journey of self-discovery and development, renowned by employers and universities alike.

    Its balanced programme develops the whole person - mind, body and soul, in an environment of social interaction and team working. There are three progressive levels of DofE programmes which, when successfully completed, lead to Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

    To achieve each level a participant must complete a programme of activities in four or five sections. Mountain biking can play a part in all of these sections. The sections of the DofE award are: 
    - Volunteering in the community/environment
    - becoming fitter (physical)
    - developing new skills
    - planning, training for and completing an expedition

    For ideas in how you could incorporate mountain biking into these sections see steps 3 to 6 in this toolkit.

    Mountain biking as an activity is likely to be perceived as a ‘cool’, fun, adventurous activity. And with a great range of progressive leadership awards available within mountain biking it is an activity leaders themselves can be challenged on and develop skills within.

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  2. 2 Roles for Leaders/Volunteers There are many different roles for leaders/volunteers on the DofE programmes. Have a look to see what you could do…

    DofE Co-ordinators
    These people set up and manage the DofE in a centre. If you become a Co-ordinator, you'll support your Leaders and oversee all groups.

    DofE Leaders
    Leaders are responsible for a DofE group. You'll lead, guide, inspire and encourage young people, agree their programme choices and sign off Record Books

    DofE Assessors
    Assessors check on a young person's progress and agree the completion of a section of their programme. You'll need knowledge of the activity they're doing and you'll sign off their Record Book to confirm completion.

    In the Expedition section, qualifying expeditions must be assessed by a competent adult who is approved by the Operating Authority and accredited by the DofE through the Expedition Assessor Accreditation Scheme.

    DofE Supervisors
    Supervisors are people with a good understanding of a participant's chosen activity. You'll help them set their goals and regularly meet with the young person to check on their progress, address any potential issues and adjust goals.
    A Supervisor is essential for the Expedition section as they are responsible for supervising and supporting a team of participants to ensure their safety and well-being whilst they are doing their expedition.

    Volunteers/helpers
    Adults who can spare some time to help DofE Leaders run a group can be a volunteer. You may give general support, i.e. admin, help run one section or give specific training.

    Whilst not all volunteers will be involved in the detailed running of programmes everyone needs to ensure continuity throughout, share responsibilities and maintain the overall quality of the DofE experience.

    If you'd love to make a positive impact on encouraging more young people to get involved in mountain biking and the DofE award, then the first step is to contact your regional representative.

    They will be able to provide you with a detailed analysis of current roles available within your local authority area.

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  3. 3 Mountain Biking Ideas – Volunteering Section Struggling to see how young people could use mountain biking could be part of the volunteering part of the DofE award – here are some ideas….

    The aim of the ‘Volunteering’ section is to ‘inspire young people to make a difference within their communities and develop compassion by giving service to others.’

    Mountain biking offers a veritable plethora of volunteering opportunities for young people. There are many organisations who are involved in mountain biking who would welcome the opportunity for a young person to volunteer with them.

    The key to successful volunteering is ‘a practical activity for a cause young people are passionate about’

    Mountain biking is many young people’s passion and through the Duke of Edinburgh scheme you could help them become involved in the development of mountain biking in Scotland.

    Ideas for young people to volunteer within mountain biking could be to:

    o Get in touch with their local mountain bike club to help lead groups of younger children within the club.
    o Work with their local mountain bike club to organise fund raising events.
    o Contact their local outdoor centre to help them lead mountain bike rides.
    o Volunteer at a social enterprise which recycles disused bikes which could offer a volunteering opportunity to fix bikes. Examples of these are the Bike Station and Cycle Stop Dunde e
    o Young people over the age of 18 could also further develop their skills by undertaking a coaching or leadership qualification.
    o Volunteer with a local trail building group to maintain your local trails. (It is likely this will be for over 18’s only)

    Do you have your own ideas? Have we missed any ideas? Have you been involved with mountain bike volunteering as part of your Duke of Edinburgh award scheme?

    If so, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us an email at info@dmbins.com

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  4. 4 Mountain Biking Ideas – Physical Section It may be the most obvious but we have some ideas you might not of thought of yet. …

    The aim of the ‘Physical’ section is to ‘inspire young people to achieve greater physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle through participation and improvement in physical activity

    The key here is for young people ‘to have fun, get better and fitter.’
    Ideas to achieve this section:

    o Join their mountain biking local club.
    o Keep a logbook of all the rides they have been on with their friends.
    o Train for a mountain biking event.
    o Participate in the GO MTB proficiency scheme. (More info below)

    GO MTB scheme is a mountain bike proficiency scheme tailor made to deliver on all of these fronts, especially when looking demonstrate ‘getting better’.

    See the range of courses being offered in your local area or find out how you can become a GO MTB leader.

    Have you or any of the young people you work with used GO MTB as part of Duke of Edinburgh award?

    If so, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us an email at info@dmbins.com

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  5. 5 Mountain Biking Ideas – Skills Section Mountain biking is a great tool develop not only bike skills but also appreciation of the outdoors and independence. Find out about a scheme which is tailor made to deliver on this aim. …

    The aim of the ‘Skills’ section is to ‘inspire young people to develop practical and social skills and personal interests

    The key here is for young people ‘to have broadened their understanding and increased their expertise.

    Ideas for young people to achieve this section:

    • Create, edit and set to music their own mountain biking video. An assessor will be needed to ‘sign-off’ their work. Contact your local representative to see if one exists in your local area. (They could also upload it to our video section to show off their skills.) 
    •  Take photographs of themselves and their friends riding. An assessor will be needed to ‘sign-off’ their work. Contact your local representative to see if one exists in your local area. (They could also enter our annual photography competition  to show off their skills - sign up to the newsletter to find out more!)
    • Participate in the GO MTB scheme. (More info below)


    GO MTB scheme is a mountain bike proficiency scheme tailor made to develop young peoples skills.

    See the range of courses being offered in your local area or find out how you can become a GO MTB leader.

    Have you or any of the young people you work with used mountain biking to achieve your skills section of the Duke of Edinburgh award?

    If so, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us an email at info@dmbins.com We may be able to produce a case study which could inspire more people to get involved in mountain biking.

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  6. 6 Mountain Biking Ideas – Expedition Section Mountain biking is a fantastic way of exploring and discovering the outdoors which lends itself to the Expedition section of the DofE. This way for some inspirational ideas….

    The aim of the ‘Expedition’ section is to ‘inspire young people to develop initiative, a spirit of adventure and discovery of the outdoors

    The key here is for young people ‘to plan, train and complete an adventurous journey as part of a team.

    Ideas for young people to achieve this section:

    • Create a trail guide of your route for future visitors.
    • Investigate how the group interact with other path users when out on riding trails
    • Keep a log of the weather throughout your expedition and how you adapted to it as a team
    • Investigate difficulties in communication when cycling and find methods to overcome them
    • Monitor how well the group stay together using distance between lead and rear cyclist as a guide, and improve this over your expedition
    • Ride along parts of a disused railway to explore its history and use of any surviving buildings
    • Consider the impact of mountain bike tourism, both positive and negative, on your surroundings
    • Investigate the erosion caused by bikes compared to foot travel – please send us the results!
    • Monitor the management of paths on your route, such as fallen trees and overgrowth.

    Have you or any of the young people you work with used mountain biking to achieve your expedition section of the Duke of Edinburgh award?

    If so, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us an email at info@dmbins.com 

    We may be able to produce a case study which could inspire more people to get involved in mountain biking.

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