White aims to pedal for change

AWARENESS: Liam White (centre) is leading a campaign to get more children riding safely, like James and Angus. Picture: Lachlan Bence
AWARENESS: Liam White (centre) is leading a campaign to get more children riding safely, like James and Angus. Picture: Lachlan Bence

INTERNATIONAL-level cyclist Liam White wants to improve cycling skill and road etiquette in his hometown.

White is leading Cycling Australia's Let’s Ride program in a bid to inspire more children to jump on their bikes and be more active.

The program, which launched last year, will roll out in Ballarat primary schools for the first time in term four.

White was excited to have the chance to give back to schools in his hometown and help to teach safe riding to children in what is Australia’s home of road cycling.

“Safety concerns is basically the reason a lot of parents are apprehensive about their children taking up bike riding,” White said. “This program is teaching awareness, bike safety and skills. If we can bridge the gap, and teach a younger generation to do everything right in traffic, it should help improve attitudes towards cyclists on the road, too.”

Let’s Ride is jointly funded by the Australian Sports Commission and Cycling Australia. It is created similarly to Milo In2Cricket, AFL Auskick and tennis Hot Shots to introduce young children to the sport and get them having fun.

The program arrives as part of a push from Cycling Australia to develop Ballarat’s cycling culture and build on the ‘hero’ events of the road national championships in the summer.

Cycling Australia chief executive officer Nick Green flagged more opportunity for all ages and abilities when the peak national body renewed Ballarat as the home of nationals in April.

White said safer riders in the community would help to generate greater positive vibes about the nationals coming to Ballarat and Buninyong each year.

So it was important to be taught right from the outset.

White, a former Ballarat Clarendon College student, is a National Road Series state winner. He rides for UCI continental team Drapac-Pat’s Veg Holistic Development Team, for which riders must also undertake university studies to a high standard.

To get your school involved in Let’s Ride, visit www.letsride.com.au or email info@letsride.com.au.