09 July, 2015 HASTPA successfully conducted its 25th session of The Hero Hastpa MTB School Program at Gurukul International School in Solan on 4th July 2015. The program undertaken by Hero Cycles, world’s largest bicycle manufacturer, and Himachal Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA) in joint collaboration aims at introducing mountain cycling to school students across various age groups. At the successful completion of the latest program, Mr Pankaj Munjal, Co-Chairman and MD, Hero Cycles said, “We are happy to announce the conclusion of our 25th school program. Hero Cycles-HASTPA MTB School Program was started with the objective of introducing mountain biking to the younger generation. Through this program we aim to encourage more and more people to take up mountain biking and popularize the sport in India. We have received extremely positive response to our program. Schools across India are increasingly coming forward and inviting us to conduct this program in their respective campuses.” The program aims at identifying and promoting the best talent in India for mountain biking at these sessions. The selected students undergo various phases of training by professionally experienced riders. The experience is a stepping stone for young talent to get trained to compete against international and national level riders at the prestigious Hero Cycles MTB Himalaya race which is Asia’s oldest mountain biking race and is considered to be amongst the toughest races in the world today. This training program is conducted across schools in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab and Chandigarh. Akhil Puri, General Secretary - HASTPA, succinctly summarizes the initiative, “HASTPA is committed to the development of adventure sports in India and to put the country on the forefront of the international sports circuit. With mountain biking as its core activity, the organization is taking the sport to the grass root level by identifying, nurturing and training raw talent in the younger generation.” Over 380 students from Class 6th to Class 12th of Gurukul International School participated in the session held on school grounds. Hero Action Team, India’s first professionally managed team, comprising of top Indian mountain biking athletes, was also present at the school training. Devender Thakur and Ankush Arya, India’s leading mountain cyclists and part of the team, had huge fan following at the program. During the program students underwent initial training and were familiarized with necessary skill sets required in mountain biking. The program aims to encourage youth to take up the sport of mountain biking thus establishing the sport at the grass root level and helping its spread across the country.