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Hastings school opens new cycle track

November 2nd,, 2011

Hastings school opens new cycle track

Another Hastings school is joining the growing list of schools which have developed cycle tracks on their grounds.

Support from a number of organizations has allowed Riverslea School to develop the track which will help teach children how to ride safely.

Principal Maurice Rehu says “The Riverslea Community Trust has donated $5000 towards the cost of the riding track while the Eastern and Central Community Trust gave $8000 for the creation of a cycle skills track.”

Mr. Rehu says the school is extremely grateful to Havelock North Rotary who gave money for the purchase of five new bikes while the school is working closely with the Kahungunu Hikio Whenua Trust to secure further bikes.

Nine bikes have also come from Hastings District Council’s iWay reconditioned bikes programme. This project takes bikes which are left at the Henderson Road transfer station and gives them to inmates at Hawke’s Bay Prison for reconditioning.

“The new cycle track, bikes and skills track will open up new lifestyle choices for the children,” Mr. Rehu says. “They will also learn how to look after their bikes, increase their fitness levels and learn how to be safe while riding. We also hope to have our senior students cycle to inter school exchanges when they will make use of the iWay cycling network.”

The cycle facilities at Riverslea School follow on from similar developments at St Mary’s and Peterhead schools in Hastings. The “Bike on NZ Charitable Trust” has been instrumental in creating cycle tracks in those schools and trustee Paul McArdle says the children have been extremely enthusiastic about the tracks. It’s a great way to get kids on bikes and show them there is an alternative to the car for transport to and from school.”

Hastings District Council Transportation Manager Jag Pannu says “The iWay network of on and off road cycle tracks has opened up great opportunities for walking and cycling around Hastings. However, for children to be able to get the most from these cycleways, we must make sure that they have the necessary skills to ride safely and school is certainly the best place to begin that training.”

“It would be great if other schools could also develop tracks which would help teach safe cycling techniques. Hastings District Council, through the iWay programme can help schools develop travel plans for their students, so that everyone can stay safe on our roads,” Mr. Pannu says.

The new cycle and skills tracks will be officially opened at Riverslea School at 11.30 on Thursday November 3rd.

iWay is a Hastings District Council initiative which aims to make walking and cycling in Hastings easy, safe and fun.

ENDS

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