This video says it all - put together by the Mahora School in New Zealand - it showcases the students and teachers and what they love about having the Bikes in Schools program at their school. The program has given kids the opportunity to not only learn to ride, but to become more confident at it as a sport in general, and as a result, for many kids, it has increased their learning capacity through greater self-esteem from having mastered a new skill and having fun at the same time. "[We have] really found a benefit with our new-entrants children. When we first started using the bikes, I only had probably 5 or 6 kids that were able to bike without training wheels.
...Now, the majority of them are off the training wheels. It is just wonderful to give them this experience.In fact we had 3 or 4 children that had never ridden a bike before and now they're just ripping around so its just been awesome". Kim Gempton - Room One Teacher Denise Pearse, Sports Coordinator, explains that the bike track has massive benefits for the kids:
- The skill of riding a bike - which some of the kids are simply missing out on - and they're able to deliver that in a safe environment
- For some kids who are finding the academic learning challenging, this povides an opportunity for them to excel in riding which has a positive impact on their self esteem
- The Bike track is fun and kids are excited to get out and use it, even 4 or 5 months after it has opened.
- It allows the school to provide variety in their classroom programs
- The Mahora School is looking forward to hosting thier very first triathlon which will be all hosted within the school grounds - so opening up new sporting oportunities to kids that might not have ever had the chance to try out.
So how did this school resource such a massive project - including bikes, helmets, storage, bike trails and a pump track on site?Denise Pearse - Sports Coordinator - explains that, "Buildng and resourcing a bike track like we've got here at Mahora is a massive project - probably around the $50k-$60k mark so without the support of groups like Rotary it would be a near impossible task for us to achieve. Of course the whole program is supported by the Bikes in Schools project from the Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust See the whole video from Mahora School here:
The school even got a champion visit from BMX rider, Amy Martin, who helped celebrate the opening day on the brand new pump track:
For more information, check out the Mahora Primary School Opening - Bikes in Schools Blog Post - https://bikesinschools.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/mahora-primary-school-opening-9-may-2014/ and the Bikes in Schools program website: http://bikeon.org.nz/bikesinschools.html