Warriors launch bike track

ADRIAN EVANS
Last updated 16:34 11/12/2012
East Tamaki School
ADRIAN EVANS/ Fairfax NZ

BICYCLE DREAMS: Vodafone Warrior Shaun Johnson follows behind an East Tamaki School pupil, testing out a new cycle track at the school.

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Extra muscle from the Vodafone Warriors has helped get things on track at East Tamaki School. 

Warriors players today were among the first people to ride on the school's new cycle track built for use by pupils and their families. They had also helped build the track last week.

The school is the first of three Otara schools to have a cycle track built. 

''It's great to come out and do something that's going to make a difference in this community,'' Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson said.

''I did most of the work so the track's going to be all right but this part here, which was done by [new warriors recruit] Todd Lowrie, will need to be redone," he joked. 

Principal Sarah Mirams said the track was "a real buzz" for pupils.

''It's been on my wishlist for many years and it's fantastic it's coming to fruition today. From now on the children will have a wonderful opportunity every single day to ride a bike.'' 

The track caps off a big year for the school which also had a royal visit from the Duchess of Cornwall in November.

''It's great to be moving forward and we've got some great projects for the coming year,'' Mirams said.

Up to 80 kids will ride the 260m track each day as part of the school's physical education programme.

''There's no barriers to getting on a bike and this means there's a bike for kids every day to learn cycle and road safety,'' Glenn Family Foundation sports director Peter McGlashan says.

The project is a continuation of the succesful Bikes in Schools programme running in the Hawke's Bay. 

It's the second school track to be installed in Auckland after Mangere's Nga Iwi School earlier this year. 

Work is underway on the Preston Rd Reserve cycle track which will serve Rongomai School and the surrounding community.

Warriors coach Matt Elliot said the track project was a reminder to the players how fortunate they were as professional athletes.

''An honest day's work never hurt anyone. It's a great way to add some variety into what has been a very tough month of pre-season training.''

Twenty-five bikes and helmets were donated to the school by East Tamaki Rotary and Variety - The Childrens Charity.

Variety will provide another 25 bikes and helmets to Rongomai School.

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