The Bend Endurance Academy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Central Oregon with a mission to promote healthy living through active, outdoor experiences. We emphasize teamwork, personal growth and community responsibility.

Founded in 2009, the Bend Endurance Academy currently features development programs for youth and juniors in Rock ClimbingCycling and Nordic Skiing.   In 2019, more than 900 people participated in our programs and participants ranged in age from 4 – 74 years of age.

We teach kids the joy of being active for life!  Our coaches, program directors and board of directors are passionate about the organization and children.  As an integral part of our community,  we are parent partners and kid advocates who look after each other, cheer each other on and face adversity together.

Additionally, the Bend Endurance Academy is about inclusion.  We think that sports should be accessible and affordable to all kids. We want to price our programs to cover our expenses and to help us grow, but not at the exclusion of families who cannot afford full tuition.  Our pricing strategy is to be competitive with other youth programs and we offer scholarships and tuition assistance to families who need them.

The Academy operates in the Deschutes National Forest under a Special Use Permit from the US Forest Service and in partnership with the Bend Rock GymMeissner Nordic and many local businesses.

 

our Programs

NORDIC

We offer cross country ski programs for children and adults.  Our shortest programs last only a few weeks where we introduce kids to the joys of moving over snow.  We also offer a whole range of winter long programs for children and adults who want to improve their skiing efficiency and fitness in a supportive and fun atmosphere.  We encourage anyone interested in Nordic skiing to give BEA a try.

 

MOUNTAIN BIKING

The Academy’s many Mountain Bike Programs promote youth and junior development at the grassroots level, helping kids have fun on two wheels year-round. By creating teams where boys and girls can ride with their friends, learn from great coaches, explore new places to ride, travel together and receive training for competition, we are supporting the riders of the future.

 

CLIMBING

Our Climbing Programs offer participants the opportunity to learn from some of the most seasoned climbing coaches in the US.  Our competition team has routinely been one of the top 20 teams in the US and has fielded many Junior national Team Members. Our indoor programs operate in partnership with the Bend Rock Gym, which serves as our primary training facility for our teams. We also offer the unique option of outdoor climbing trips to world class Smith Rock State Park and other local crags.

Donate

Donating money to the Academy is a great way to support our mission.

Our programs charge tuition but we do not turn children away because of what they can afford. We run a very lean company with low overhead and use our resources efficiently. Business sponsorships, fundraisers and events are important for our success, but it is still individual donors — our families– who give the most!

Individuals may make tax-deductible donations because we are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We also accept gear donations like bicycles, skis and other sport equipment that we use as loaners or provide to kids in need.

Businesses may sponsor the Academy, our vans, uniforms or one of our events.

donate now

Natasha West
Mountain Bike & Nordic Director

Natasha is a lifelong Oregonian who originally moved to Bend to attend OSU Cascades. While an avid cyclist in the summer and fall, in the winter she spends her time as a nordic and alpine ski instructor. She loves helping kids find joy and independence in the outdoors

 

RYDER TALCOTT
MTB Race Team Manager

Ryder moved to Bend from the Northeast with his sights set on larger mountains, rivers, and crags to play in.Ryder has extensive experience leading multi-day adventure-based trips including activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, backpacking, and white-water paddling. He is passionate about outdoor recreation and experiential education and has been focused on sharing this passion with youth and young adults since 2017.

Cate Bebe
Climbing Director

Cate caught the climbing bug in 2016, and began exploring rocks in Vermont. She started coaching, routesetting and working with outdoor summer camps in a community gym, and quickly immersed herself wholeheartedly in the climbing world. She loves the sense of community that comes with climbing, and is excited to help motivate, encourage, and challenge the next generation of climbers. Cate has been working with youth climbers since 2017, and has been coaching youth athletes since 2012.

 

Ann Leitheiser
Development Director

A seasoned project manager and fundraiser with a background in athletic footwear development, Ann joined the team in 2017 to help build and manage our business partnerships and community events. Ann has two daughters that participated in BEA programs and are full-time competitive Nordic skiers in Bend and in college. 

Mike Rougeux
Executive Director

Mike has been working with kids in the outdoors/recreation field since 1995 and can’t imagine doing anything else. His background in Adventure Education and Wilderness Leadership provides a strong foundation for his teaching and coaching style. Mike has been coaching rock climbing since 2006 and finds it just as fun and challenging as when he first started.