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Getting more children on bikes

Published: 24 January 2019
Variety - the Children's Charity's chief executive officer, Lorraine Taylor, fastening the helmet of a Park Estate School student who received a bike through the Bikes for Kids programme.

The Auckland Bike Challenge is back for 2019 and partnering for the first time with Variety – the Children's Charity, which gifts bikes and helmets to children in need.

Each year, Variety presents new bikes and helmets to children at low decile schools, allowing them to experience the freedom and independence that comes with owning a bike.

Keen bike rider and Planning Committee Chair Chris Darby is encouraging Aucklanders to sign up to the challenge. "More and more people are joining the bike revolution. The Auckland Bike Challenge is a great way for people to enjoy Auckland, celebrate with other bike riders and use our cycling infrastructure.

"I'm thrilled to see Auckland Transport partnering with Variety – The Children's Charity, to make cycling an everyday option for even more people and to help our young people discover the magic of cycling."

Auckland Transport's Manager Walking, Cycling and Road Safety, Kathryn King, says the partnership is an exciting opportunity for people participating in the Auckland Bike Challenge.

"Last year, more than 4300 people got on their bikes in February and logged rides as part of the challenge.

"Almost 1000 of those were new riders and 499 businesses and organisations across Auckland signed up to encourage their staff to try riding a bike as a healthy and sustainable travel option," she says.

"In 2019 people can now take part and fundraise for Variety. By signing up and fundraising through the Auckland Bike Challenge, for every $250 raised Variety will present a child with a new bike and helmet.

"We want children to have healthy, active transport to school and this is a wonderful way to help get more of our young people on bikes."

Lorraine Taylor, Variety – the Children's Charity's chief executive officer, who will be taking up the challenge herself, says Variety is proud to partner with Auckland Transport to raise much-needed funds for its Bikes for Kids programme.

"We know that owning a bike can make such a positive difference in the lives of the children we work with. Just recently we provided a bike to a child who only had a rusty scooter, picked up from the dump, to play with. We also recently provided bikes to a number of children who told us they will use their new bikes for their trip to school," says Taylor.

"A bike truly is considered as a luxury item for many of the disadvantaged Kiwi kids we work with, and we are looking forward to presenting many more, with the support of Auckland Transport and those who take part in the challenge."

Those who meet this fundraising target will be invited to attend the presentation of bikes they have funded to the recipients. Prizes will also be awarded to the top three individuals who fundraise the most, and the top organisation within each size category.

The Auckland Bike Challenge

The Auckland Bike Challenge is part of a national campaign, the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, being run by the New Zealand Transport Agency, Love to Ride, councils, and other local partners around the country.

To participate in 2019's challenge, register online and cycle for at least 10 minutes anywhere, anytime during the month of February. To register, sign up today at lovetoride.net/auckland