Bikes in Schools Programme Kickstarts in the Waitomo District

16 Oct 2023, 9:22 AM

kids on their new bikes

School students throughout the Waitomo District have access to new bikes thanks to funding received through Sport New Zealand’s Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa Fund.

The bikes will be used to kickstart the programme Bikes in Schools within the district.

Bikes in Schools is a national initiative with a vision to create regular and equal access to bikes for children, as well as experiencing the numerous benefits of regularly riding a bike.

With the support of Sport Waikato, Waitomo District Council applied for the Tū Manawa fund on behalf of the Waitomo Arotahi Kahui Ako (WAKA), and was successful in obtaining $50,000.

WAKA is a group of school principals within the Waitomo District. The participating schools include Centennial Park School, Mōkau School, Benneydale School, Piopio College, Piopio Primary, Pukenui School, Rangitoto School, St Joseph’s Catholic School, Te Kūiti High School, Te Kūiti Primary, Te Wharekura o Maniapoto and Aria School.

The funding was used to purchase a fleet of bikes in a range of sizes, both two-wheeled and trikes, and gear which includes helmets and two custom trailers.

They will be used for various activities and adventures implemented by the schools themselves.
A shared booking system on Google Docs was established which enables schools to book the bikes, as well as transport them between each school.

Waitomo Mayor John Robertson says the funding was applied for with the aim of promoting physical activity, accessibility, and a lifelong love of being active among children in the Waitomo District.

“It reflected the collective partnership of the Council, WAKA, Sport Waikato and Sport NZ to help lay the foundation for children and future generations to have access to opportunities for active play and building confidence in riding bikes.”

Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa provides funding for the delivery of activities for children and young people. The fund focusses on groups who are less active, including girls and young women, disabled people and those living in higher deprivation communities.

“Putting bikes in schools, particularly schools where kids may not have bikes at home, and teaching them to ride has got to be one of the best things we can do for the next generation.”
- Hon Julie Anne Genter
Associate Minister of Transport