News & Events

Bikes in Schools reaches exciting milestone

Friday October 30 2020

More Palmy kids are learning to ride a bike than ever before thanks to the Bikes in Schools programme.

Awapuni Primary School last week became the 10th school in the city to join the programme, which aims to see more children having regular access to bikes.

The programme is jointly funded by Council (with funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency) and the Bike On Trust.

Bikes in Schools gives a grant to a school for a bike track, bikes, helmets and a storage shed.

Mayor Grant Smith says it’s an exciting achievement to have so many schools part of the programme.

“Bikes in Schools ensures that all children, regardless of where they live or what school they go to, get regular access to a bike. I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in the programme so far, and I'd like to pay special mention to Councillor Aleisha Rutherford, who has worked tirelessly as part of the programme panel since its inception.”

He says this programme will only become more important over the coming decade.

“As well as climate change, our city is growing fast, and that means we need to move people around more easily and safely. As a city we need to encourage more people to choose to ride a bike rather than take a car. Behaviour change research shows that if you get kids riding a bike from a young age, it will become a habit, and they’ll be more likely to choose to ride compared to some of our older residents who haven’t used a bike regularly.”

Awapuni Primary School Principal Stephen Soutar says he’s extremely grateful to be part of the programme.

"Many of our children do not have bikes and now they have brand new ones. This initiative will help with their fitness, learn safety tips as a cyclist and get them outdoors to have some fresh air. For the future we hope that they can keep themselves safer on the roads and appreciate cyclists as road users, too.

"There will be the odd crash, the odd fall, the odd grazed knee but that’s the price we pay for endless hours of fun! What I look forward to most is our younger children getting on the bikes and working through the process of finding their balance and the elation and jubilation when it all comes together and they ride for the very first time."

The other nine schools which have benefited from the Bikes in Schools programme are:

  • Ashhurst School
  • Cloverlea School
  • Hokowhitu School
  • Longburn School
  • Roslyn School
  • Ross Intermediate
  • St Mary’s Catholic School
  • Takaro School
  • Terrace End School.

Central Normal and Somerset Crescent schools will receive funding for their tracks and bikes this financial year.

Schools wanting to be part of the programme can get in touch with council to register their interest.