Ruawai Primary School students were ‘wheely’ excited for the opening of their new bike track as part of the Bikes in Schools Programme.
Ruawai mother, Kim Jenyns, initiated the project two years ago.
“I found the Bike in Schools programme online and thought it was great because not all children get to play a sport or enjoy team sports. This track was something we could do for every child,” she said.
“Our community doesn’t have facilities like other places. The track will be opened up on weekends and after school for everyone in the community to use.”
Kim says their application was accepted by Lottery Northland Community Committee.
Volunteers provided 200 hours of labour, and the project was supported and guided by Stuart Bell from Bike Northland. “We got 22 bikes and a helmet for every child in the school,” Kim said. They will also purchase a storage container and a further 28 bikes. Ruawai Primary School principal, Curtis Gaylor, says the track is another way to strengthen the school’s health and physical education curriculum.
“It provides our kids with the opportunity to ride safely off the roads, as we are surrounded by state highways and metal roads.
“I am very appreciative to Kim, and her partner Glen, for their ideas and dedication to the project.”
Stuart Bell of Bike Northland says often rural schools miss out on projects like this, due to a smaller population and less infrastructure.
“For us, it’s just as important that these type of projects happen here in Northland as it is for the major centres.”