Wellsford Primary School on track for biking success
Wellsford Primary School students are benefiting from the support of local organisations and a handful of dedicated volunteers.
In November 2011, Harbour Sport and Auckland Transport approached Wellsford Primary School Principal, Dave Bradley, and their highly motivated PE teacher, Phil Lees, with an idea about installing a cycle track around the school field.
Within a week following a notice in the school newsletter, a local contractor had stepped forward and put his hand up to build the cycle track. He then managed to source approximately $10,000 worth of limestone, a digger, a truck and accompanying drivers – all for free.
Children arrived back from the summer school holidays to a little piece of magic – a brand new cycle track 1.5km long around the perimeter of the school field. Named ‘Te Huanui’, the track was officially opened with a powhiri by local kaumatua and attended by everyone involved with the planning and construction.
Harbour Sport and Auckland Transport worked really hard to source funding for 25 brand new bikes for the school and they arrived at the beginning of March. Teachers were trained to be able to teach students cycle and safety skills and have been passing on their knowledge so students get the opportunity to gain confidence and competence on their bikes.
The efforts of all involved are already paying off as more children are bringing their own bike to ride on the track before and after school, as well as during breaks. Mr Lees also uses the bikes and the track during PE lessons so the students will be well equipped with skills to keep them cycling throughout their lives.
Due to the efforts of some ‘good sorts’, this great initiative will see more children in Wellsford cycling and also lead to a healthier, more active community.