Bike track for beginners opens in Waiwhetu
The Waiwhetu community warmly welcomed the opening of a new bike track where learners can sharpen their riding skills.
The facility was opened at Our Lady of the Rosary School on May 25 and is designed to encourage kids to get into cycling by building their confidence.
Principal Karolina Surynt-Tapiki said the new facility was "just fantastic" and learning to ride a bike would be a skill the students would have for life.
She said it would encourage healthy lifestyles and teach children how to stay safe.
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The track is also open for use to the public after hours for cycling and running.
The 300 metre track cost $22,000 and was paid for by a two-year fundraising effort and a grant from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
Surynt-Tapiki said the next step would be to get a fleet of bikes for the students to use and to build somewhere to store them. Local not-for-profit organisation Biketech has lent 20 bikes for students to use in the meantime.
Father Michael Stieller blessed the track during the opening ceremony, the first bike track he had blessed in his many years as a priest.
The Our Lady of the Rosary School track joins other Hutt Valley Bikes in Schools project tracks at Fernlea School in Wainuiomata, Rata Street School in Naenae and Silverstream's Pinehaven School.
The project is part of the Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust which was founded in 2010 and aims to introduce more Kiwis to the enjoyment and benefits of biking.
Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard stood in for Mayor Ray Wallace to cut the ribbon. A keen cyclist, he was pleased the local community now had a safe place to learn to ride.
"Kids can build their confidence here and they'll have a lifetime of enjoyment and health benefits as a result."