Phaplu Mountain Biking Club, Nepal

What you are seeing here is groundbreaking. This is Mingma Yangzi Sherpa, a native of Phaplu, Nepal. She is the very first official Director of the Phaplu Mountain Biking Club.

Now boys and girls growing up in Phaplu will see a local woman leading a prominent organization. And she will not be leading just any organization–but a mountain biking organization.

Let’s wind this back and give you some context. Phaplu is a small trekking village at the base of Mt. Everest, and like many small working towns, it had a problem with kids not staying in school after the 7th grade. But two years ago, Move92 asked a local leader and owner of a Phaplu trekking business (Ang Sherpa Lama) what he would do to remedy the problem.

His answer was surprising: build a mountain-biking pump track, and put it right next door to the school.

Why? To give them an compelling incentive to stay in Phaplu and continue their education, to teach mountain biking skills so that village kids could later lead mountain biking trekking tours, and to sow the seeds of a whole new livelihood in the region with trained mountain biking guides from Phaplu.

It was a wild, crazy, local idea. So Move92 collaborated with The Himalayan Trust and gave Ang a $10,000 grant to build the pump track, with the only stipulation was that Ang’s proposal had to specifically include girls in the club. (This is one emphasis of Move92, to ensure that girls and women get into more positions of leadership in a myriad of ways.)

The pump track was built using local labor, and immediately became the social center of the town. And now on a daily basis, 40 to 50 boys AND girls are at the track waiting in line to use it. They must stay in school to be there.

Ang used this momentum to formalize the Phaplu Mountain Biking Club, and to collaborate with businesses in Katmandu build quality trails in the region. 13 professional grade tracks have now been built. The club will be hosting its second Enduro race in the spring, and the tourism bureau of Nepal will making a documentary about Phaplu and its new mountain biking culture in the fall.

The club has grown to the point that Ang can no longer manage it with his other business responsibilities. So he hired Mingma with his second Move92 grant to continue growing its programs.

Again, what we see modeled in our everyday life makes a huge difference in what all of us believe is possible. And children growing up in Phaplu will see a local woman leading a prominent village organization, and making her visions a reality.

Here was the Instagram announcement:

” The Phaplu Mountain Biking club introduces its new Director, Mingma Yangzi Sherpa. Mingma stands as an exceptional individual–born and raised in Phaplu, having her inherent connection to the community rooted in her heritage.

Growing up amidst the Himalaya, the spirit of the outdoors courses through her veins, further bolstered by her experiences as a mountaineer, trekking guide & outdoor medic. Notably, she is an avid mountain biker, and for several years has been actively championing the involvement of more Nepali women in mountain Biking and outdoor activities. We are most excited for our future under Mingma’s leadership.“

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/phaplumtbclub/

GOOD NEWS

Our New Director Is a Woman

Phaplu Mountain Biking Club, Nepal
18/10/2023