Recently, IMBA Canada's Ontario representative Jason Murray, announced that he would be stepping down, from his position that he's held since 2008. To fill the role as our Province's representative, Igor Hoogendoorn, long time member of the Guelph Off-Road Bicycling Association (GORBA) has agreed to step up and take on the new role. We ran in to Igor at the Toronto International Bicycle Show and had a chance to ask him a few questions...
Trail Swag: Let me know a little more of your history
Igor: I have been working with GORBA for over a decade and held a executive position as Trail Supervisor for the area. Over the years I have attend conferences across Canada and helped to organize the IMBA Ontario Summit a couple of years ago. There have been a lot of side projects that I have taken part in too such as assisting the City of Toronto with assessing the Don Valley.
Trail Swag: How Did You Get Started with IMBA?
Igor: I have been working along side the two directors of IMBA Canada for quite some time. It was a natural fit, and as Jason realized he had a growing family commitment, I approached the directors and let them know of my interest.
Trail Swag: Can you touch on briefly on the creation of the new IMBA Ontario?
Igor: Mountain Bike Ontario was created for Provincially bodied groups to promote the sport of Mountain Biking. Part of IMBA's advocacy role is to provide more focus at a Provincial level and this would give us a chance to focus on some of the opportunities and challenges that Ontario offers. We're seeing greater numbers of areas with more riders (which may also include equestrian, and hiking usage) and land owners who want to formally create a structured agreement.
Trail Swag: Future Projects?
Igor: Jason Murray already made fantastic inroads in helping the Don Valley trails and trail access. The Toronto Off-Road Bikers Association (TORBA) was formed as part of those interactions and ultimately that is something I'm looking to continue to foster.
IMBA Canada is also looking at creating a new club structure known as the "Chapter Program". It's already in its second year in the U.S., and what it establishes is instead of a club structure where the club pays dues to the National body, the Chapter Program integrates the club into the National program (e.g. You wouldn't pay a club membership and then a separate membership to the National body). This would provide an administrative benefit and help remove infrastructural components to allow them to focus on the club structure instead (e.g. leading rides and maintaining trails).
Thanks for your time Igor, and best of luck in your new role!