Pt England School pupils riding new bicycles celebrated the official opening of their 400m state-of-the-art bike track on Thursday 23 February.
The track was built as part of the nationwide Bikes in Schools programme. It surrounds the children’s play area and includes obstacles, skills areas and a pump track (small hills and dales), designed to help the children improve their bike riding abilities, safety awareness and fitness levels.
The 50 new bikes come in five different sizes and will be stored at the school for the children to use on a rotating basis.
Principal: Children ‘incredibly excited’
“Most of our kids do not have their own bike at home and they’re incredibly excited about the track and their new wheels,” said Pt. England School principal Russell Burt.
“Even for pupils who have a bike, riding on the roads near the school is dangerous. Now they have a safe space to learn and to develop themselves as cyclists.”
Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board contributed $30,000 for the design and build of the track.
Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board Chair Josephine Bartley said, “It’s a priority for us 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 an extra bonus.”
Dimension Data funded the bikes as part of Variety’s Bikes for Kids programme. They have committed to funding up to 250 bikes and helmets for Kiwi kids through Variety.
Auckland Transport provided funds for Pt England School staff training and the Lion Foundation supported the project with a grant.
Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust, which runs the Bikes in Schools programme, brought the track funding partners together and managed the project.
More than 18,000 riding thanks to Bikes in Schools
Bikes in Schools projects across New Zealand have so far helped more than 18,000 school children across more than 70 schools get to ride a bike on a regular and equal basis at school.
Bikes in Schools tracks are also open to the community outside of school time.