Bikes bring joy to great kids

EMMA DANGERFIELD
Last updated 11:30 05/12/2012
Bikes for kids
Emma Dangerfield

Early Christmas: For 20 lucky schoolchildren Christmas came early when they each received a shiny new red bike, thanks to children’s charity Variety.

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Kaikoura

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Twenty lucky schoolchildren were given an awesome surprise last week when the Variety bus pulled into town.

The bus was in town as part of children's charity Variety's Bikes for Kids tour, an annual event in which deserving children are awarded with brand new bikes.

Kaikoura was the third stop of the tour, which involves a bike-laden truck travelling around the country and presenting bikes to deserving kids who have been nominated by their peers.

Mayor Winston Gray was on hand to present the bikes, which were given to the twenty Kaikoura children aged between 7 and 9.

Children were nominated for being good role models within their school or community, while others simply come from families who are not in a position to purchase a bike.

The children came from a range of schools, including Kaikoura Primary School, Kaikoura Suburban School, Hapuku School and Woodbank School. The event was held at Kaikoura Primary School.

Chief executive officer of Variety, Lorraine Taylor, said every child should be able to experience the thrill of having their very own bike.

"Riding a bike is a child's prerogative - something that provides them with a sense of independence. However, for many Kiwi kids certain circumstances mean they miss out."

Next the tour travels to Blenheim, Picton, Nelson, and Motueka, finishing in Westport and Greymouth on November 30.

Bikes for Kids is part of the Variety Kids on the Move programme, which enriches the lives of Kiwi kids, including providing liberty swings for wheelchair users.

Each year Variety provides bikes for about 450 deserving children.

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- Kaikoura Star

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