Excited pupils headed out with their bikes at Oranga Primary School on 30 March to celebrate the official blessing and opening of their Bikes in Schools track which was completed in January.
So far the Bikes in Schools programme has helped 18,000 school children across New Zealand in more than 70 schools get access to bikes and facilities as well as adding important community infrastructure.
Principal of Oranga Primary School, Diana Peri says, “We are so thankful to the generous contributors; Auckland Transport, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board, the Lion Foundation and The Trusts Community Foundation.
"Without their support we wouldn’t have this awesome facility which is already such an asset to not only our pupils but our whole community.
“Already teachers have noticed that the energy levels of the children have gone up and we can all see the skills being learned and the fun being had."
"We are excited to carry on with the programme which for us includes more fundraising to purchase bikes and storage and getting the kids working through the Auckland Transport skills development programme.”
Auckland Transport’s Manager of Walking, Cycling and Community Safety, Kathryn King says, “It’s so great to see this bike track being so well used by the community.
"Auckland Transport is committed to making riding part of people’s everyday lives and this type of initiative is a big part of that. We also acknowledge the hard work the school does to secure the funding which shows a big commitment to the health and wellbeing of their pupils.”
Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board Chair Josephine Bartley says, “It’s a priority for our board to provide opportunities for people in our community to increase physical activity through leisure activities, and when we can provide these for young people it’s a bonus.
"Bikes in Schools is a great initiative and we’re really pleased to be able to provide the track, as the foundation for this programme, at Oranga Primary School. Giving kids the opportunity to enjoy a physical outdoor activity can set some really great lifetime foundations in place.”
Lion Foundation’s Head of Partnerships Marcus Reynolds says, “The Lion Foundation are hugely supportive of the Bikes in Schools programme and it’s great that we could help out Oranga Primary School. There’s no doubt that developing bike skills will result in a healthier, safer community and it’s a pleasure that The Lion Foundation can play our part.”