Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Free Access to Bikes and Facilities for All

Free Access to Bikes and Facilities for All New Zealand Primary School Children is the Aim After Hawke’s Bay Pilot Initiative Deemed a Success


Prime Minister John Key today launched a new programme that aims to give every primary school child in New Zealand regular access to a bike and bike track within the school grounds.

A trial of Bike On NZ’s ‘Bikes in the School’ programme has been running since 1 February in St Mary’s School, Hastings, and now founder Paul McArdle hopes to secure funding to be able to offer it to any New Zealand primary school that wants it.

Tukituki MP Craig Foss launched the programme with Mr Key and said; "Bikes in the School is a fantastic and positive initiative to help get young people more active on a regular basis. I thank the generosity of those who have invested in this program."

“By providing free bikes and helmets to schools, and also building safe bike tracks on which children can ride safely, Bikes in the School helps our kids to get active which in turn will lead to a whole range of positive outcomes such as improved health and increased confidence,” said Mr Foss.

The main aim of Bikes in the School is to ensure all primary school children have an opportunity to experience the ‘joy of biking’ and all the wonderful benefits that flow on from cylcing in a safe envrironment says Mr McArdle.

“Ministry of Transport figures show that children aged 5-12 now cycle for only one-third of the time and distance they did 1990,” said Mr McArdle. “Yet at the same time the World Health Organisation says New Zealand has the third-highest obesity rate in the OECD. We believe that Bikes in the School can help contribute to the reversal of these statistics.”

Since Bikes in the School provided St Mary’s school with their 62 new bikes, 225 helmets, a dedicated staff resource, a 550m cycle track, two pump tracks, a skills track and a bike shed, the school has seen a huge increase in children’s interest in biking, says principal Liz Crowley.

“Some of our children had never ridden a bike before. We’ve incorporated the biking into our physical education programme and the kids just can’t wait to get out there. The teachers are also enjoying biking with the children”

“We’re seeing an increase in confidence, improved social interaction, more physical activity, and also more attention to safety and an increase in their awareness of what’s around them when they’re biking.”

As well as the support of the Prime Minister, Bikes in the School has gained the backing of New Zealand’s main official cycling organisations, who believe Bikes in the School will help address health issues and parental fears about children’s safety while learning to ride.

BikeNZ sees the programme as a natural fit with its RideStrong Programme, which is dedicated to promoting a safe and enjoyable environment for all cyclists.

“One of RideStrong’s core goals is to provide the opportunity for every Kiwi school kid to ride a bike safely and with confidence, and as such we have launched a pilot programme of cycle skill training for school children,” says Kieran Turner, CEO of BikeNZ.

“Bikes in the School helps to achieve this goal. Not only are children having fun and getting exercise, but through the Bike On NZ - RideStrong partnership they will also learn important safety skills that will make New Zealand’s roads safer places for them to be.”

CAN (Cycling Advocates Network) and the government-funded Bikewise (NZTA and Ministry of Health) have also lent their support.

Double BMX World Champion Sarah Walker attended the launch – providing inspiration to children and showing just how far they can go on their bikes.

Mr McArdle said he hoped Kiwis would get behind Bikes in the School so that every child would have the opportunity their parents and grandparents had – to experience a fun and enjoyable activity.

“The best things we can provide for our children are fun and healthy habits they will take with them for the rest of their lives. Bikes in the School achieves both of these goals and we hope that before long we can offer that opportunity for every primary school child in the country.”

For further details visit: http://www.bikesinschools.wordpress.com

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news