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Natarsha Birk Named Marian U Coach

Natarsha Birk Marian University Coach

With the 2015 USA Cycling BMX Collegiate BMX National Championships coming up this weekend as part of the USA BMX Dixieland Nationals, we have some prime-mover news ahead of the race. Marian University, a big player in the Collegiate Cycling space announced that Natarsha Birk, two-time UCI World Champion and, more recently, Answer BMX Sponsorship Manager, has joined the Marian program as coach. Here’s the release from Marian University.

Marian University Cycling Coach Dean Peterson announced today that Natarsha Birk will be joining the coaching staff of the 28-time National Champion collegiate cycling program at Marian University. Birk will coach all disciplines with a specific focus on the university’s BMX and mountain bike programs.

Birk comes to the two-time defending Collegiate BMX National Champions with vast BMX racing success, including two World Championships (1996 and 2000), three World Cup Championships, two European Championships, and a National Championship from her home nation of Australia.

Originally from Innisfail, Queensland, Birk has been racing bikes since age 5. She turned professional in the sport of BMX at 16 and raced internationally, in 17 countries, until 2004. She moved to the United States in 2000 and has remained involved in the BMX industry. She comes to Marian University Cycling from Answer BMX, where she has served as the Sales and Sponsorship Manager since 2009.

“BMX has been my life – so to be able to do something in a career that I’m passionate about, makes me happy,” said Birk. “When you have a passion, it’s easy to pass it along, and this will allow me to actually help athletes along, be hands-on, and make themselves better.”

Birk is an accredited level 1 coach and will bring those skills, along with her strength in sports psychology, to help the Knights continue to advance their program, particularly in the off-road disciplines.

Coach Dean Peterson added more: “We continue to look for ways to develop in the BMX and mountain bike disciplines, as those are the youngest areas in our program’s history. Natarsha is going to be a huge part of our staff moving forward – I am confident she will help us grow our efforts to create a meaningful experience for our student-athletes, both on and off their bikes.”

The Cycling Knights won the Collegiate BMX National Championship in 2013 on their way to the team’s first omnium championship. They repeated in 2014 and head to Atlanta, Georgia this weekend to defend that title. BMX became an Olympic sport in 2008.

Birk lives in Westfield with her husband, Ryan, and their son, Ryder, 7, who also races BMX. She is 39 years old.

Great news for the storied Marian Cycling program. We wish ‘Tarsha and her team the best this weekend in Atalnta.


Marian Knights Cycling Team Website

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