Mangere’s Nga Iwi Primary School last Thursday opened its flash new cycle track on the school grounds. To reverse low levels of school kids cycling, Auckland Transport, various sponsors and the local community teamed up to construct a 280m long track around the school grounds, including a pump track, and a skills course including see-saws and bridges.
The program will go beyond just providing a track at school, being aimed at giving Year 5 and 6 kids training and confidence on bikes. For this, the school also received new bikes for the students to use on the track. The scheme was inspired by Paul McArdle’s famous “Bikes in Schools” concept from Hawke’s Bay and was brought to Auckland by Kitch Cuthbert of Auckland Transport. We hope to see it rolled out to more schools around Auckland.
Mayor Len Brown took the chance to personally open the track – as well as the associated “Travelwise” school travel program to reduce the number of kids being drive to Nga Iwi primary school in private cars. Cycle Action Auckland also attended the opening, and we had our own small role in building the track, having organised Winstone Aggregates as the sponsor for the 40 tons of track surface limestone.
Other sponsors of the $60,000 project were JFC Construction who built the track for free, Counties Manukau Sport who donated $10,000 to the school to build the pump and skills track, Woodhill Bike Parks who built the pump and skills tracks at a discounted rate, the Lion Foundation who donated $7,500 to purchase bikes, and Adventure Brands, who offered their bikes at a discounted rate. Well done, everyone – ride on!