New Strathmore Bike Park a Scots College student initiative
“Think outside, no box required” was the slogan behind the Year 6 project that has become a reality for Scots College students Orlando Pender, Kobe Fulljames and Noah Stephens.
Work has begun in the Strathmore Park located on Walden Street to develop an asphalt loop track and a skills track for children in the Strathmore, Miramar and wider Eastern Suburbs community. This joint initiative between Wellington City Council, The Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust and Scots College will enhance the current park and encourage bike safety in the area. Each section will take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete with a scheduled opening for the public set for the beginning of February in time for enjoyment in the warmer summer months.
Concerned with the amount of time spent inside, Orlando, Kobe and Noah, now in Year 7, wanted to encourage children to get outside and get exercise while having fun. Through their Year 6 Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition, a culminating project of the International Baccalaureate PYP, the three boys researched and visited other bike parks, surveyed other students and created a presentation that included their survey data, proposed plans for the tracks and a budget. Together Orlando, Kobe and Noah presented to the Bike On Trust, Scots College Principals, Headmaster and Board of Governors and ultimately the Wellington City Council. All groups expressed their support for the park. Today the boys reflect on this journey by comparing it to riding a bike - “life is like riding a bike, to keep your balance you have to keep on going”. They are not the first group of students expressing the need for a bike park, Tom Everett, Sam Archibald, Oliver Mears and Elliot Robertson, now in Year 8, also saw the benefits during their Year 6 PYP exhibition project in 2015.
Bike tracks such as this offer a safe and enjoyable environment for children to gain confidence in their riding skills and bike safety. Councillor Sarah Free, portfolio leader public transport, cycling and walking says the Bikes in Schools tracks have been incredibly successful in getting thousands of Wellington students riding bikes. The Scots College Bikes in Schools tracks will also be a great facility for families in the eastern suburbs, adding to the existing play equipment at the Monorgan Road Park. This is the seventh Bikes in Schools programme in Wellington with two more due to be completed early in 2018.
Once the tracks are completed bike maintenance days, skills and safety workshops will be held for the public and local primary schools in the area. As keen cyclists themselves Orlando, Noah and Kobe are “really glad to see it’s become a reality” and can’t wait to ride the tracks themselves.
Caption: Year 7 Scots College students Kobe Fulljames, Noah Stephens and Orlando
Pender visit the construction of the Walden Street bike park