Auckland school spins with joy around the playground

ALEXANDRA NELSON/Stuff.co.nz

Roscommon School in Manurewa has officially opened their bike track.

Keeping fit by pedalling is the latest craze hitting New Zealand schools.

Bike tracks are being opened across the country and Roscommon School in Manurewa is one of the most recent to officially open its bike track.

The tracks are part of the Auckland Council's Unitary Plan aimed at creating the most liveable city. Part of that is to increase the sports opportunities to support healthier lifestyles.

Roscommon School student Kataana Brown, 9, can't wait to give bike riding a go.
Alexandra Nelson

Roscommon School student Kataana Brown, 9, can't wait to give bike riding a go.

Bike On NZ Auckland regional project manager Toni Dale helped implement the programme and says she loves seeing children light up.

"The joy you see on kids faces the moment they get on a bike and they master that skill is just magic. You can't surpass that," Dale says.

Sixty schools across New Zealand now have bike tracks and more than 15,000 kids are now part of the programme.

From left, Counties Manukau Sport community sport advisor Brendan Boreham and Bike On NZ Auckland regional project ...
Alexandra Nelson

From left, Counties Manukau Sport community sport advisor Brendan Boreham and Bike On NZ Auckland regional project manager Toni Dale didn't let the rain dampen their excitement at the bike track opening.

"The aim is every child in the school learns how to ride the bike and has regular access to riding," Dale says.

"We're so grateful for the funders, NZ Tranlsport Agency, ACC, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, board of trustees, Ministry of Education and the suppliers."

Counties Manukau Sport holds "teacher-training days" to help get teachers up to speed with riding lessons.

Community sport advisor Brendan Boreham says it's a great job to have.

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"We can upskill staff so they can look after and coach the children when we aren't there. We also offer mentoring sessions where we mentor teachers on the bike tracks," Boreham says.

Go to bikeon.org.nz/bikes-in-schools/ for more information on Bikes in Schools.

 - Stuff

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