Kids ripping around a BMX track during school hours might seem strange to some, but Magpie Primary School is certain its bike program is good for the students.
Principal Peter Clifton said it was about more than bike skills.
“Riding is an important component...(but) what is equally important is the engagement aspect,” he said.
“Boys and girls love coming out here to ride on the track.They can’t want until the official launch and the official opening.”
The school’s own track is the product of help from two organisations.
WDEA provided the labour through its work-for-the-dole participants and disability employment service clients and the YMCA donated 25 bikes from its Recranked program.
A grant from the employment company to Recranked paid for helmets and other bike parts.
‘While the school might have finished it over 10 years, with volunteers, we’ve brought it forward to less than a year so far,” he said.
Mr Clifton said they were now working towards a Melbourne ride with the bike ed program.
“Last year we rode Linton back to Ballarat on the Skipon rail trail, this year we’re going in November to the capital city bike ride,” he said.
“There’s 37 kilometres around the inner Melbourne suburbs.”
Mr Clifton said they would be on cycle paths for most of the ride, so no dodging trams or errant car doors.
Angela Harris from WDEA said the work at the school had been beneficial for the Jobactive clients.
“A lot of the guys from this project have found employment during the project,” she said.
YMCA community and youth engagement director Stacey Oliver said it had worked out well for everyone.
“We’re pleased to be able to support Magpie primary and their bike ed program, and very grateful for WDEA supplying the funds to continue the program,” she said.
And this will not be the end of the fun at the school, with the unused space inside the track to be transformed into a mini-gold course.
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