We are hiring! Mountain bike Advocacy Officer

9 March 2022

We are hiring! Mountain bike Advocacy Officer

IMBA Europe is looking for a Mountain bike Advocacy Officer to join our growing team.

Mountain biking matters. It is a proven success story for many locations, regions and countries. It is a pastime and sport enjoyed by millions of people, allowing them to access the countryside and wild landscapes with minimal impact. Mountain biking brings huge benefits to local economies, improves (mental) health and reconnects people to nature. Trail associations, mountain bike clubs, groups, and professionals such as trail builders and trail guides promote responsible access and help mountain biking take place sustainably.

However, across Europe many mountain bikers find barriers to their riding. Many countries do not have inclusive access regimes that encourage mountain bikers. Unfortunately, in some places riders face almost total bans from some of the most desirable riding in Europe. Developing trails and improving or authorising existing trails for mountain bike use can be slow and bureaucratic. Facing outdated access legislation which no longer corresponds to contemporary recreational behaviour, a lack of knowledge about managing mountain biking sustainably amongst decision makers and persistent myths about mountain biking are common struggles for MTB advocates. Nevertheless, these arguments can be won, and those success stories should inspire us to do more.

IMBA Europe exists to help everyone affected by trail access issues, and with our partners from Cycling Industries Europe we are putting in place additional resources to solve problems, help and inspire local campaigners and to aim for a Europe where trail access and sustainable mountain biking are accessible to everyone, wherever they live. IMBA Europe have worked tirelessly for years to build knowledge about access solutions that are sustainable, and all this knowledge are readily available for the future access officer.

Who are we looking for?

If you believe you can inspire, lead, encourage and share the campaigns for better mountain biking in Europe, then this job is for you.

We need to connect our communities, build on our success stories, train and educate local advocates, create winning arguments for more mountain biking and provide guidance to communities how to become MTB friendly that is what this job is all about. If you have a proven track record in advocacy, network development, community building, training or education in any sector that has made a real difference when dealing with public bodies on the ground, then we want to hear from you.

Yes, bring a passion for mountain biking, countryside access and nature conservation, but above all bring us your ability to make a difference for our whole network.

MTB Access Advocacy Officer will be working in the field of:

  • Initiate and support trail access campaigns in key areas for mountain biking across Europe
  • Organize access advocacy training for MTB advocates from our stakeholders and member organizations
  • Develop assessment tools to monitor trail access
  • Lead strategic planning activities to develop MTB friendly communities and regions across Europe
  • Coalition building and co-operation with IMBA Europe’s members, Cycling Industries Europe, other EU cycling advocacy partners and the European Network of Outdoor Sports
  • Drafting of policy factsheets, position papers & recommendations
  • Research, benchmarking, and dissemination of best practices
  • Represent IMBA Europe at conferences, (EU) export groups and other stakeholder meetings

About the job

You will be working in a small team of staff members, IMBA Europe’s board members and several freelance training providers in the field of trail development and MTB guiding / instruction. You will also work closely with our national members and stakeholders.

We offer an opportunity to create, thrive and develop in an international team and to work in the emerging MTB sector. You will work at the intersection of sport, health, recreation, tourism and mobility. IMBA Europe’s office is located in the Netherlands. IMBA Europe offers an employment package in line with similar sport federations in the Netherlands or non-government organizations based in Belgium. Secondary benefits / employment conditions are in consultation with the candidate and according to Dutch or Belgium employment law but include holiday pay, end of the year premium and travel allowance.

Working from home or from a co working space is negotiable. In case the candidate lives in another European country than the Netherlands or Belgium but meets the outlined profile, IMBA Europe will investigate the opportunity of secondment to one of its members or partner organizations.

Essential job requirements

  • Relevant Bachelor or Master Degree.
  • Relevant experience working on projects related to mountain bike advocacy
  • Experienced in conducting research, drafting policy factsheets, papers & recommendations
  • Knowledge of EU nature, forestry and biodiversity strategies
  • Experience from an NGO or similar organization and familiar with cross sectoral cooperation
  • Knows how to integrate mountain biking in recreational management plans and tourism policies
  • A strong understanding of the role of MTB infrastructure in developing policies and best practice at EU or national level
  • Excellent written and verbal communication and presentation skills
  • Personal confidence to engage and influence professionals, policymakers, and other stakeholders
  • Thorough, patient and with good attention to detail
  • Strong interest in mountain biking / outdoor sports, nature conservation and public affairs
  • Excellent written and spoken English, additional languages preferred
  • Living in the Netherlands or Belgium, willingness to travel

Recruitment process and how to apply

Candidates are invited to submit a CV and motivation letter. The closing deadline for applications is April 1st. Interested candidates should email their CV and motivation letter to: info@imba-europe.com IMBA Europe’s Board and general manager will carry out screening.

Short listed applicants will be contacted by April 1st latest to schedule an interview and assessment to be carried out between the dates April 4th and 8th  . A final list of applicants will have a second interview. Following negotiations with a successful candidate, IMBA Europe hopes that new appointee will be in post as early as May 2022 but no later than June.