Gravity Nelson is super excited about how its mountain bike coaching sessions have taken off, and that success is no doubt in part due to the extensive experience and qualifications of our coaches, plus our unique “bespoke, inclusive, enthusiastic, progressive and supportive” approach to mountain bike coaching for all levels and styles of riders.
The Gravity Nelson core coaching team consists of Alistair Matthew, John Butler, Ben Hall and Celyn Edwards. With guest coach Skye Irwin over Winter 2018.
Below is a small outline of the mountain bike riding and coaching background of each member of our team:
Alistair “El Jefe” Matthew: Mountain Biking in New Zealand and around the world for more than 27 years, founder of GravityBolivia.com on Bolivia’s infamous “Death Road”, 20+ years of guiding and coaching mountain biking.
- PMBIA Level 1 qualified (http://www.pmbia.org/courses/level-1/),
- NZOIA Level 2 senior instructor (http://www.nzoia.org.nz/qualifications/our-qualifications note that the MTB stream details are still to be added to the site),
- Skills Active soon-to-be-launched Mountain Bike strand of the Outdoor Leadership Certificate (Level 4 Instructor, Level 5 Guide, Level 5 Instructor, and Level 6 Instructor… yes, all of them … how’s that for a mouthful) refer: http://www.skillsactive.org.nz/news-and-events/news/mountain-bike-assessors-hit-the-tracks/.
- Alistair also holds several first aid qualifications including Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (https://peaksafety.co.nz/course-categories/pre-hospital-emergency-care) and multiple workplace one day first aid courses (including mountain bike and volunteer fire brigade specific courses).
- Alistair specializes in:
- Cornering clinics for all levels of riders
- Drops clinics for beginner to intermediate riders
- “Mountain biking myth correction” for experienced riders
- Mountain bike squad youth development programs
- Parent and child sessions
- Confidence building mtb psychology, body position correction, and safe progression sessions for riders who feel stuck at low to mid Intermediate level
John “Baby Face” Butler: John has guided, coached, built trail, ridden and raced around the world including Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Whistler, and New Zealand for far more years than his baby face suggests. His qualifications include:
- Whistler’s in house coaching course (Pre-PMBIA) Level 1 and 2
- Cycling New Zealand Accreditation
- Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (https://peaksafety.co.nz/course-categories/pre-hospital-emergency-care) and St John First Aid Level 1 (https://www.stjohn.org.nz/First-Aid/First-Aid-Course-Overview/First-Aid-Level-1-/)
- John specialises in:
- Intermediate to Advanced jumping, pumping and drops
- Advanced cornering on challenging terrain
- Riding Technical terrain
- Back country riding
Ben ‘off the wall’ Hall: Hailing from ‘Up North’ in the UK, Ben moved to Nelson for the riding 5 years ago and just hasn’t been able to stay away. He has 8+ years experience outdoor and mountain bike instructing, and is Gravity Nelson’s jack of all trades bike fettler.
- BSC Outdoor Professional Practice – University of Cumbria
- PMBIA Level 1 qualified (http://www.pmbia.org/courses/
- Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (https://peaksafety.co.nz/cour
- Ben specialises in:
- Keeping the learning process fun and simple to all levels
- Cornering and drops clinics
- Body position, riding smooth and being efficient
- Progressing sessions at the right pace to help meet riders goals
Celyn “Send it” Edwards: Blenheim local moved to the “big smoke” of Nelson. Riding since he could walk, Celyn brings youthful mad skills and raw talent to the team.
- Cycling New Zealand Coaching certificate (https://www.cyclingnewzealand.nz/coaches-and-officials/coaches/coaching-courses-and-workshops)
- St John First Aid Level 1 (https://www.stjohn.org.nz/First-Aid/First-Aid-Course-Overview/First-Aid-Level-1-/)
- Celyn specilises in:
- Intermediate to Advanced Jumping, Dropping and hard cornering
- Intermediate to Advanced tricks and skills (Wheelies/manuals/bunnyhops)
- Riding technical terrain with confidence
- Concrete bike park and dirt jump park sessions
- Sending BIG
Skye “Not related to Steve” Irwin: Skye is originally from Canada and has been working at 440 MTB Park in Auckland, but we don’t hold it against her. She has been riding for 3+ years on Vancouver Island and through the Rockies, and has a background of rock climbing and personal training.
- PMBIA Level 1 qualified (http://www.pmbia.org/courses/level-1/)
- Slipstream 90-Hr Wilderness First Aid (https://wildernessfirstaid.ca/wilderness-courses/90-hour-wilderness-first-aid/)
- This Canadian specilises in:
- Foundations of MTBing – Body position (climbing, descending & pumping)
- Beginner to Intermediate cornering
- Beginner to intermediate drops
- Youth after-school programs