Tibbetts P.E. teacher Reta Dominguez eagerly waiting to launch mountain biking class
FARMINGTON — With Farmington continuously evolving as an outdoor recreation mecca, Reta Dominguez is eagerly waiting for Tibbetts Middle School to resume in-person learning so her students can experience the physical and emotional benefits of cycling.
The Tibbetts physical education teacher is incorporating a new mountain biking class for the spring semester onward, and she now has 30 new bicycles and helmets ready for use.
“I can’t wait until things start getting a little normal (again). We all want things to go back to normal,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez said she sought help from 505 Cycles co-owner Dale Davis on how she can get the bicycles for her class, which led to a “Riding for Focus” grant from the non-profit group Outride.
After applying, Tibbetts was among 44 middle schools nationwide to receive grant funding for the equipment back in late May.
“The direction our area’s going is very focused on outdoor recreation. It really goes hand-in-hand with how we’re trying to drive our local economy and the health of our area,” Davis said.
Dominguez finally got the new bikes this month, and now she’s simply waiting for the OK to start up in-person classes again.
The school’s track on the east of campus is surrounded by some rugged, hilly terrain, which can serve as a miniature biking trail for the students to train on. That in turn aids in Dominguez’s goal of teaching her students how to ride bikes safely and how to navigate through such terrain.
“Every student is different. Some are a lot more coordinated than others. We were even talking about trying to establish some kind of way of incorporating bicycles for kids with special needs,” Dominguez said. “That’s the wonderful thing about biking, that you can be at any skill level and still enjoy it and get something out it… just that freedom, that physical activity that you’re getting and that socializing.”
Dominguez said she hopes the new mountain biking class will lead to more kids investing in their physical health via cycling, as well as other schools following suit with similar classes.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577, firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @MattH_717.
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