When fall sports comes into mind for South Kent School students, one usually thinks of soccer or cross country. One of newest addition to the after-school programs is Mountain Biking with John Funk taking on the role of the coach.
This is the third year of Mountain Biking has been a choice as a sport. It’s a great way of getting out of classroom and getting some exercise, while looking at the beautiful views of Kent.
Funk is a math teacher at South Kent School and returned this fall to his third year of coaching Mountain Biking.
”The program is expanding every year,” Funk said in a recent interview.
Once South Kent School cut the football program back it 2009, planning began that year to start the Mountain Biking program in 2010. They began with a small budget which helped pay for some bikes and helmets. Every year they increase in size and it catches many students' attention of trying something new.
Senior Kevin Butler of Bridgewater, CT, is one of the many students who is participating in the after school program this year.
“It’s great to get out of classroom and experience something new,” Kevin said.
Mountain Biking has been growing ever since the first year when it first started out with 10 bikes. Every year they have new bikes that take on the South Kent hill. An alumnus, Frederick K. Day, is helping the program by donating new bikes every year. He created the World Bicycle Relief, which is an organization that raises money and sends bikes to children who are in need in Africa and other third world countries.
For Funk to be the coach, he needs to take leadership which he demonstrates very well. He always has his med kit on hand in case somebody gets hurt and never leaves a biker behind.
“Mr. Funk is always there for you with his med kit,” Kevin added.
“It’s a great experience,” he said.
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