ECCT gives big for Bikes in Schools

Major contribution to boost initial target of developing bike tracks for six schools, involving more than 1,700 students.

Major contribution to boost initial target of developing bike tracks for six schools, involving more than 1,700 students.

BIKER BOOST: Bikes in Schools in Gisborne has been given a boost by the Eastern and Central Community Trust. From left at back are Anelia Evans (Cycle Gisborne director), Prue Younger (Connext Trust chairwoman), Geoff Milner (Eastern And Central Community Trust chairman), Phil Robinson (Sport Gisborne Schools Liaison). In the front from left are Peter Ferris (Ilminster principal), students Harmony Robinson and Kiarna Williams, and Katrina Duncan (Cycle Gisborne director). Picture by Liam Clayton

THE Eastern and Central Community Trust (ECCT) has become a major funding partner in the roll-out of Bikes in Schools throughout the Gisborne district, contributing $120,000 to the project.

The money will boost the initial target of developing bike tracks for six schools, involving more than 1,700 students. The goal is to have tracks in 15 of the region’s schools.

“Gisborne children are facing a crisis of health and wellbeing and we want to give each child a fair go at having a healthy future,” said ECCT Chair Geoff Milner.

“The $120,000 supports other funding earmarked for Bikes in Schools and provides leverage for garnering further financial support,” he said.

Bikes in Schools involves the development of biking tracks, from 200 metres to one kilometre within school grounds, approximately 50 bikes and helmets and secure storage for the equipment. A skills track with obstacles and a pump track for BMX-type riding are sometimes included. Training for teachers and students enables cycling to become a compulsory activity within the school curriculum.

Funding helps reduce obesity

Mr Milner said the funding goes some way to reducing Gisborne’s high level of obesity among children. Statistics put 21 percent of Gisborne’s two to 16 year olds in the overweight or obese category, almost double the national average.

ECCT’s funding bolsters the Gisborne District Council commitment to provide $50,000 a year for the following 10 years to Bikes in Schools.

A pilot project is successfully under way at Kaiti School. Schools to benefit within the next 12 months are: Te Wharau and Ilminster schools, which will share a track; Waikirikiri, Te Hapara, Makaraka and Makauri. The development is administered by Connext Trust, with members representing Gisborne District Council, Iwi, health, sport, education and business.

Connext’s Chair Prue Younger says Bikes in Schools gives children access to bikes and the exercise results in improved health and wellbeing, fitness, coordination, self esteem and confidence.

“It’s fantastic that ECCT is coming on board in such a big way and supporting the project,” Ms Younger said.

When Kaiti School adopted Bikes in Schools, around 60 percent of the children had never ridden a bike but within four weeks more than 90 percent could ride with confidence. The aims are for cycling to become a normal, everyday activity, that families will buy bikes for their children so they can ride to school and for greater use of Gisborne’s expanding cycle ways.

The Annual Public Meeting of the Eastern and Central Community Trust will be held in Gisborne, Wednesday 17 August at the Gisborne War Memorial Theatre from 5pm, with the meeting officially starting at 6pm.

THE Eastern and Central Community Trust (ECCT) has become a major funding partner in the roll-out of Bikes in Schools throughout the Gisborne district, contributing $120,000 to the project.

The money will boost the initial target of developing bike tracks for six schools, involving more than 1,700 students. The goal is to have tracks in 15 of the region’s schools.

“Gisborne children are facing a crisis of health and wellbeing and we want to give each child a fair go at having a healthy future,” said ECCT Chair Geoff Milner.

“The $120,000 supports other funding earmarked for Bikes in Schools and provides leverage for garnering further financial support,” he said.

Bikes in Schools involves the development of biking tracks, from 200 metres to one kilometre within school grounds, approximately 50 bikes and helmets and secure storage for the equipment. A skills track with obstacles and a pump track for BMX-type riding are sometimes included. Training for teachers and students enables cycling to become a compulsory activity within the school curriculum.

Funding helps reduce obesity

Mr Milner said the funding goes some way to reducing Gisborne’s high level of obesity among children. Statistics put 21 percent of Gisborne’s two to 16 year olds in the overweight or obese category, almost double the national average.

ECCT’s funding bolsters the Gisborne District Council commitment to provide $50,000 a year for the following 10 years to Bikes in Schools.

A pilot project is successfully under way at Kaiti School. Schools to benefit within the next 12 months are: Te Wharau and Ilminster schools, which will share a track; Waikirikiri, Te Hapara, Makaraka and Makauri. The development is administered by Connext Trust, with members representing Gisborne District Council, Iwi, health, sport, education and business.

Connext’s Chair Prue Younger says Bikes in Schools gives children access to bikes and the exercise results in improved health and wellbeing, fitness, coordination, self esteem and confidence.

“It’s fantastic that ECCT is coming on board in such a big way and supporting the project,” Ms Younger said.

When Kaiti School adopted Bikes in Schools, around 60 percent of the children had never ridden a bike but within four weeks more than 90 percent could ride with confidence. The aims are for cycling to become a normal, everyday activity, that families will buy bikes for their children so they can ride to school and for greater use of Gisborne’s expanding cycle ways.

The Annual Public Meeting of the Eastern and Central Community Trust will be held in Gisborne, Wednesday 17 August at the Gisborne War Memorial Theatre from 5pm, with the meeting officially starting at 6pm.

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