On yer bike, says children's charity

First help those in your own backyard

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 11:30 28/11/2012
Variety
Derek Flynn

New wheels: St Mary’s School pupils, from left, Manate Tenoa, 9, Christian Manu, 8, and Aroha Millan-Ratima, 8, were among the 43 children in who got an early Christmas present from Variety – the Children’s Charity in Blenheim yesterday. Variety is touring the country to gift bikes to deserving school children

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A truckload of bikes rolled into Blenheim to be presented to 43 schoolchildren from around Marlborough yesterday as part of the annual Bikes for Kids tour by Variety - the Children's Charity.

Variety helps the country's sick, disabled and disadvantaged children reach their potential.

The recipients, from Redwoodtown, Mayfield, Spring Creek, Ward, St Mary's, Whitney Street, Springlands, St Josephs and Blenheim schools, are among 450 to receive bikes nationwide.

Variety ambassador Mark Wright presented the brand-new bicycles to the youngsters at The Warehouse in Blenheim after they were unloaded from the tour truck.

"I'm personally a big believer of helping out your own backyard before anyone else," Mr Wright said.

Children were nominated to receive the bikes by teachers or members of community organisations for showing leadership, being good role models for their peers or being disadvantaged in some way, he said.

Among the crowd of around 90 were school children, parents, Blenheim Warehouse staff, Mayor Alistair Sowman and senior constable and police education officer Sue Bush, of Blenheim.

Manate Tenoa, 9, from St Mary's School, was delighted with his new bike.

"I'm going to ride it to Christchurch," he said.

His friend, Christian Manu, 8, who also attends St Mary's, said getting a new bike was "awesome".

Judy Hegglun's grandson Isaiah Onolevu, 7, of Springlands School, was also given a bike.

He was definitely deserving of the gift, she said. "He's actually got a really lovely, wonderful nature which I think really shows through to everyone he comes across."

The annual Bikes for Kids programme got under way from Christchurch on Saturday, and will move up the country to finish in Auckland on December 5.

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- The Marlborough Express

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