Double boost for cycle programme

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 11:00 17/10/2012

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The highly-successful RideOn Marlborough cyclist education programme has received a great boost with the delivery of an enclosed trailer, complete with signage.

The trailer was bought with Nelson Marlborough District Health Board funding two months ago, with the signage just being attached last week.

It doubles as a storage facility and transport for all the equipment used for the cyclist education programme.

"We used to borrow the trailer from Safer Communities Marlborough and keep the equipment in a council storage shed, but now that we have this trailer we solve both problems at once, which is great," said Sport Tasman Marlborough hub adviser, Tina Fortune.

The aim of RideOn Marlborough is to teach school children basic bike handling and safety skills so they are more confident and capable when commuting.

"There are so many kids who ride to school and around town in Marlborough that it is important they are taught how to be safe.

"We aim mainly at 7 to 10-year-olds, and our NZQA [New Zealand Qualifications Authority] assessment is done based on this age group, but we do teach all age groups, too," explained Tina.

The programme has trade partners such as local bike shops Avantiplus Blenheim and Cycle World, which have provided free safety and mechanical checks on the kids' bikes. The Marlborough police are on board, with education officer, Constable Susan Bush, doing safety training.

"This is a great programme and a good addition to cycling safety," said Marlborough District Council Bike Walk Marlborough co-ordinator, Robin Dunn.

The RideOn programme falls under Sport Tasman and was started with a pilot three-month project in October last year, through funding from KiwiSport. In February the programme got the go-ahead for three years with sponsorship from the council and KiwiSport.

"So far around 1800 kids have been through the programme. We are really pleased with how it is working," said Tina.

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- The Marlborough Express

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