Wellington’s wild weather finally reached Hawkes Bay on Friday, but even that wasn’t enough to dent the enthusiasm of the 120 kids at Camberley School, Hastings – at the official opening of the new cycle tracks at the school and round the adjacent Kirkpatrick Park. The sky opened just as things kicked off, prompting a mad rush to the cover of school hall for kids and visitors. But it didn’t dampen the excitement! Camberley as an area has had some hard knocks in the last couple of years. But principal Pat Watson said that the school now had a unique community asset that was already being used by not just kids but also by their parents and others in the community too, and that he’s been surprised by how popular path the path has become already. The school itself has a limesand track round its own playing field, which joins a longer concrete path winding it’s way round Kirkpatrick Park next door – built by Hastings District Council as part of it’s iWay project. Hastings Councillor Sandra Hazehurst said that paths like this were all part of HDC’s wider investment in getting local people cycling. This joint school/council collaboration has worked really well at Camberley School and it would be great to see similar elsewhere. Councillor Malcolm Nixon threw down the gauntlet, challenging principal Pat Watson to a bike race. But although it was just too wet to race on Friday, we’re going to hold him to that one. Watch this space! Thanks to Eastern And Central Community Trust for their contribution – it is much appreciated. Also to Sport Hawkes Bay for their help with the initial cycle skills training, and to the Rotary Club for helping assemble the bikes.
School track openings usually see a lot of kids on bikes, but Takapau School in Central Hawkes Bay broke all records last Friday when the entire school’s 120 students pedalled round to celebrate the opening of their 3 new tracks.
CHB’s mayor Peter Butler did the honours to officially open the track, and was even persuaded to join the mass of cyclists for a quick turn round the track.
Thanks to all the organisations and individuals listed below for helping to make this all possible:
We were also lucky enough to be joined by some seriously talented bike riders – professional mountain bikers Brook McDonald and George Brannigan. Always up for a challenge, George and Brook took on two specially selected young riders from the school for a race (and gave them both half a lap head start to give them a fighting chance – maybe they were a bit too generous there though….).
You can also see a video of the kids in action in the report from local paper Hawkes Bay Today here
Another Auckland school snips the ribbon on a brand new track – well done to Tamaki School in Panmure, Auckland!
The school now has a fantastic 500m riding track, a pump track, a fleet of 50 bikes and a helmet for every kid. This was all thanks to generous contributions from Sport Auckland, the ASB Community Trust, the Lion Foundation, Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board and Auckland Transport.
It was great to see the kids tearing round the track at Tamaki, and once again a familiar story has emerged – something we’ve also heard at so many other schools. Principal Rhonda Kelly says that before the programme started only a handful of kids rode their bikes to school, but now they are struggling to find space for their bikes
Thanks to Tamaki School for a great day!