Jeline Boldevino and Shreeya Patel
Late last year, Holy Cross School in Miramar was one of three schools selected by Wellington City Council to pilot ‘Bikes in Schools’, a project that includes new bikes, helmets and purpose-built tracks within the school.
Contractors completed three tracks during the summer break and the first term of 2015 ‒ a skills track, a pump track and a general track. Under guidance of Bicycle Junction staff, students assembled 50 new bikes.
Monday 30 March 2015 saw the official blessing and opening of Holy Cross Miramar cycle tracks. The morning began with a pōwhiri welcoming over 100 people, including Cardinal John Dew, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Archdiocese of Wellington representatives, Wellington City Councillors and officials, representatives from bike and sporting organisations, visiting schools, project contractors, whānau, friends and neighbours.
The whole school joined in a powerful chant and performed waiata for guests, followed by a strong cultural performance from some of the students.
Our principal Celeste Hastings said, ‘Bikes in Schools fits with everything we have talked about, planned and hoped for. It is having an impact on so many areas and in ways we never even predicted. We are committed to making it work and to growing its success.
‘This project has made riding accessible to everyone, including those with special needs. We have even had a request from the adults who attend our English language classes to hold lessons for them. Everyone loves cycling!’
Cardinal John blessed the track. ‘As we ride around this track, we will learn many lessons about life; the ups and downs, the bumpy ride over the stones, the joy of speed, as well as the “stop” and the “give way to others” signs we meet every day of our lives.’
Mayor Wade-Brown said the Bikes In Schools pilot will enable over 1,300 students a year to become more confident and competent through regularly riding bikes. Mayor Celia and students cut the ribbon and declared the track open. Students demonstrated new skills and visitors tried out the new tracks.
Thank you to the staff who put a tremendous effort into organising the events and track, the school community who also had a great part helping the bike track’s growth, Cardinal John Dew for blessing the bike track, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and the Wellington Council for giving us the opportunity to have a bike track and making this possible and the students for their great enthusiasm and work.
Student comments about the project include:
‘I like that the Council bought us some lovely bikes. I want to say thank you to their boss’.
‘I have so much more confidence. I look ahead, I pay attention, I’m thinking all the time’.
‘Lots of workers helped to build the tracks and they did a good job’.
‘My muscles are getting so much stronger and I am not nearly so puffed’.
The bike track is always open for you to come along with your families or friends to enjoy.
Jeline Boldevino and Shreeya Patel are Year 8 Holy Cross School students.