Cycling their way to a better future

ALONG FOR THE RIDE: Cycle fever has taken over Kaiti School since the completion of the three bike tracks. Students enjoying the benefits of the Gisborne Bikes in Schools programme. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

A $1 million Gisborne programme aimed at ensuring more school children have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike is a finalist in New Zealand’s top cycling awards for the second year running.

Established three years ago, Connext Trust’s Bikes in Schools Tairawhiti Project has been announced as a finalist in the 2018 Bike to the Future Awards work and school category.

Connext Trust manager Jo Haughey said it was a great achievement for the community.

“Locally, we are seeing and hearing many benefits from the initiative, and are thrilled to have contributed to getting more local kids on bikes more often.

“There are now 12 schools with Bikes in Schools and more than 2000 students have received cycle education in Tairawhiti in the last three years. This directly contributes to increasing cycle safety and skills in our community.”

The awards, in its third year, is organised by the NZ Transport Agency and Cycling Action Network (CAN).

Bikes in Schools involves the development of biking tracks, from 200 metres to one kilometre in length, within school grounds, and provides 50 bikes and helmets along with 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.

“The most recent recipients of Bikes in Schools are Mangapapa, Elgin, Riverdale School and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Whatatutu.

“The tracks are being used widely by families too, which is good to see,” said Ms Haughey.

The Tairawhiti project is being delivered to a dozen schools in the district, making it the largest implementation of the Bikes in Schools programme in New Zealand.

It is jointly funded by Tairawhiti Connext Trust, Gisborne District Council, New Zealand Community Trust, Eastland Community Trust, Eastern & Central Community Trust, NZTA and the Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust.

CAN spokesman Patrick Morgan said the calibre of the nominations received was outstanding.

“There’s no doubt that biking is on the up,” he said. “The quality of nominations is testament to the incredible work happening all around the country.”

NZTA system design senior manager Brett Gliddon says the Government is committed to encouraging more Kiwis to choose active transport options, such as cycling, that lower carbon emissions and benefit health.

“We know that New Zealanders are looking for more efficient transport options that are good for them and for their communities.

“More people on bikes means more efficient movement in urban centres, reduced emissions, improved public health and fitness and, most importantly, more liveable cities.

“We are proud to be celebrating everyone who has contributed towards encouraging more Kiwis to get on their bikes and wish all of the finalists luck,” Mr Gliddon said.

The winners will be announced at the 2WALKandCYCLE Conference awards dinner in Palmerston North on July 31.

A $1 million Gisborne programme aimed at ensuring more school children have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike is a finalist in New Zealand’s top cycling awards for the second year running.

Established three years ago, Connext Trust’s Bikes in Schools Tairawhiti Project has been announced as a finalist in the 2018 Bike to the Future Awards work and school category.

Connext Trust manager Jo Haughey said it was a great achievement for the community.

“Locally, we are seeing and hearing many benefits from the initiative, and are thrilled to have contributed to getting more local kids on bikes more often.

“There are now 12 schools with Bikes in Schools and more than 2000 students have received cycle education in Tairawhiti in the last three years. This directly contributes to increasing cycle safety and skills in our community.”

The awards, in its third year, is organised by the NZ Transport Agency and Cycling Action Network (CAN).

Bikes in Schools involves the development of biking tracks, from 200 metres to one kilometre in length, within school grounds, and provides 50 bikes and helmets along with 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.

“The most recent recipients of Bikes in Schools are Mangapapa, Elgin, Riverdale School and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Whatatutu.

“The tracks are being used widely by families too, which is good to see,” said Ms Haughey.

The Tairawhiti project is being delivered to a dozen schools in the district, making it the largest implementation of the Bikes in Schools programme in New Zealand.

It is jointly funded by Tairawhiti Connext Trust, Gisborne District Council, New Zealand Community Trust, Eastland Community Trust, Eastern & Central Community Trust, NZTA and the Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust.

CAN spokesman Patrick Morgan said the calibre of the nominations received was outstanding.

“There’s no doubt that biking is on the up,” he said. “The quality of nominations is testament to the incredible work happening all around the country.”

NZTA system design senior manager Brett Gliddon says the Government is committed to encouraging more Kiwis to choose active transport options, such as cycling, that lower carbon emissions and benefit health.

“We know that New Zealanders are looking for more efficient transport options that are good for them and for their communities.

“More people on bikes means more efficient movement in urban centres, reduced emissions, improved public health and fitness and, most importantly, more liveable cities.

“We are proud to be celebrating everyone who has contributed towards encouraging more Kiwis to get on their bikes and wish all of the finalists luck,” Mr Gliddon said.

The winners will be announced at the 2WALKandCYCLE Conference awards dinner in Palmerston North on July 31.

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