Gate Pa School’s New Bike Tracks gets Ministerial Approval

The two new bike paths at Gate Pa School in Tauranga have now been officially opened. The top track provides a mostly flat ride around the school’s main field while the bottom track is a more challenging MTB type ride through some beautiful native bush complete with a stream.

The project, which was the vision of the principal Richard Inder, was made possible with the help of many different groups including the Tauranga City Council, Higgins, Tauranga Rotary and Container Co. The school also received a grant from the NZ Transport Agency’s Bikes in Schools Fund. 

In addition to the tracks, the schools has 50 new bikes and helmets as well as a converted shipping container to store the bikes in. 

Following his lap around the top track, the Minister of Transport and local MP, Simon Bridges gave his vote of approval. 

A First for Tokoroa

Following a blessing by local Kaumatua Homai Uerata, the very excited students at Tokoroa Central School got to ride their 50 new school bikes around their beautiful 400m bike track. The school also has a converted container to store their school bikes in.

After deciding back in 2015 that this was a project that the BOT, Principal and school’s staff wanted, and a lot of hard work, Tokoroa Central is the first school in town to implement Bikes in Schools.

Congratulations to the school and everyone who supported them along the way.

Bike riding is all go at Firth Primary School

Thanks to the vision and a lot of work by the Principal, staff and BOT the first Bikes in Schools project in Matamata is now all go at Firth Primary School. With beautiful sunny weather, the opening event started with an official blessing and a few short speeches followed by the important cutting of the ribbon. The school’s Kapa Haka group and choir then both did lovely performances. 

Special guests and visitors were then invited to ride the school’s new bikes around the school’s bike track along with some students.

A big thank you to the local businesses and funders who very generously supported the school and helped make the project a reality for all the students at Firth Primary School. 

Party time at Terrace End School

It is now all go at Terrace End School with the opening of their Bikes in Schools project.

The school is one of the first three lucky schools to benefit from Palmerston North City Council grants of $50,000 that are speeding up the roll out of the programme across the town.

 

 

 

As well as a great pump track and skills track, the school has a wonderful asphalt track around the edge of the school grounds which is perfect for bikes, scooters and feet.

 

 

 

In addition to the wonderful support and funding from Palmerston North City Council the school has also had help from a number of other organisations including the Eastern and Central Community Trust, Sport Manawatu, MidCentral DHB, the Police and Rotary.

Some research into the project is also being done by Massey University.

 

 

 

All go at the opening event for Gonville School, Whanganui

Great to have the first school in Whanganui up and running with their wonderful Bikes in Schools project. Well done to the BOT, Principal and staff at Gonville School and everyone who has supported them along the way. This includes, Whanganui Community Foundation, Powerco Trust, Sport Whanganui, Whanganui District Council, New Zealand Transport Agency, MOE, Citi Containers, St John’s Landscaping, Whanganui Police and Velo Ronny’s Bicycle store.

 

 

 

 

Great to have the Mayor Hamish McDouall, Olympic cyclist Greg Anderson and other guests all riding around the wonderful new tracks with the students.

The local pre-school also came along to test out the track.

Wonderful Hampton Hill School opening!

Pupils zip around the newly opened riding track
Pupils zip around the newly opened riding track

Congratulations to everyone involved in the official opening of the new WCC Bikes in Schools project at Hampton Hill School in Wellington. It was a wonderful event with beautiful singing by the students and excellent speeches about some of the really positive outcomes resulting from the students being able to ride their new bike tracks at school. Very exciting.

Hooray - the cutting of the ribbon!
Hooray – the cutting of the ribbon!

Once the ribbon was cut it was great to have the Mayor and councilors whizzing (or was it racing?) around the track with the students. Lots of fun and great smiles.

A huge thank you to Wellington City Council for making this all possible with their generous funding and support that helps three Wellington schools each year to implement a Bikes in Schools project.

Applications are still open for the next round of funding. See here.

Palmerston North City Council funds 3 local schools

Three lucky Palmerston North schools have been selected by Palmerston North City Council to receive a combined total of $150,000 to get their pupils riding with Bikes in Schools projects.

Promo from Palmerston North City Council

St Mary’s, Terrace End School and Longburn School were picked from a list of primary and intermediate schools which showed an expression of interest in Bikes in Schools. They’ve each been supplied with 50 new bikes and helmets, bike storage in the form of a shipping container and all 3 Bikes in Schools recommended tracks (riding track, pump track and skills track).

Palmerston North City Council’s transportation planner Sandi Morris, said “The availability of bikes and tracks in the school and supporting education programme, will ensure each child is taught to ride a bike in a safe environment from the time they start school.”

These will be the first Bikes in Schools projects launched in the Manawatu-Wanganui region!

See a map of all the Bikes in Schools projects

Read the official press release

Kaiti School, Gisborne “runs out of plasters”

February saw the official opening of the track at Kaiti School – the first of an ambitious plan to bring Bikes in Schools to at least 20 schools throughout the Gisborne region.

Gisborne mayor Meng Foon, principal Billie-Jean Potaka-Ayton and
CONNEXT’s Prue Younger snip the ribbon with help from a young Kaiti rider.

Over the next 10 years, Gisborne District Council will fund $50,000 a year towards the project, which, along with further community trust funding and donations will be administered via the Gisborne’s CONNEXT Trust.

CONNEXT  is a new body made up of local leaders representing the council, iwi, health, sport, schools and businesses, and aims to improve the health of young people throughout the area.

The school has already seen some extraordinary results from the project even before the official launch.  Principal Billie-Jean Potaka-Ayton said that the kids had been using the tracks for three weeks already:  “The first week we had 40 children who could not ride a bike, the second week we had 20 and by the end of the third week, every student in the school could ride a bike.”

The only issue? The school office ran out of plasters in the first weeks.

The Bikes in Schools concept was introduced to the Gisborne area by Katrina Duncan and Anelia Evans, who also helped train cycle skills co-ordinators for the project.  The official opening of the first school track under the programme was a great moment for Katrina: “The smiles on their faces says it all. I am so stoked. The simplicity of this is why it is so effective”

Council funding gets more kids riding bikes

Funding for a further three schools to help implement Bikes in Schools projects  has just been announced by Wellington City Council. This is part of a 3 year funding commitment from WCC totalling $600,000.

wcc-bis-sign

Amesbury School, Hampton Hill School and Houghton Valley School will each receive a minimum of $50,000 towards the cost of purpose built bike tracks and bike storage. following on from a successful pilot last year at three other Wellington schools (Holy Cross, West Park and Karori West).

Bikes in Schools launch at Holy Cross School in Miramar
Bikes for Schools launch at Holy Cross School in Miramar

WCC’s Councillor Andy Foster said “Allocation of this funding is one of the ways the Council is encouraging active transport, improving road safety throughout Wellington and making the city safer for people cycling. This is especially important for our children.”

You can read the full WCC press release on their website here.

West Park School, Johnsonville

West Park School’s track was finished a little while ago and has seen plenty of use already, but this week saw the official opening of the facility by Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown opens Bikes in Schools at West Park School

This is the second track opened through WCC’s Bikes in Schools project, with more planned.

20151103_121825The school thinks that the track has given the sports field an extra dimension for the local community – something we have seen all around the country with other projects. Principal Luis Echegaray said that “neighbours have commented that they have never seen the field used as often. From the early hours of the morning to the end of the day, young and old are using the track – cycling, walking, jogging and teaching younger ones to ride bikes…I can’t thank Wellington City Council enough and all the people that have contributed …you all have given West Park School and the Johnsonville community a wonderful facility to be proud of and that will be used by thousands of people over the coming years…”

20151103_120256Peter Rhodes-Robinson has two children at the school, and was also one of the volunteers helping with the the track. He talked about seeing “that moment when kids first learn to ride, that joyful moment….this is the only place in Johnsonville that’s flat enough to ride so we bought our kids here to learn to ride. We bring a thermos down and have a cup of tea while the kids ride around.”