Teach­ing chil­dren to ride safely

New Straits Times - - News -

There is a need to fo­cus on sus­tain­abil­ity of pro­grammes to af­fect change con­cern­ing mos­quito bike ac­tiv­i­ties, and the Podium Kids Malacca project has just this in mind.

“It can be done con­tin­u­ously to ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity,” said pro­gramme coach­ing di­rec­tor Fairoz Izni Ab­dul Ghani.

The Podium Kids Malacca pro­gramme started two weeks ago fol­low­ing the Johor Baru bi­cy­cle tragedy in which eight teenagers were killed in an early morn­ing ac­ci­dent. It has so far at­tracted a strong fol­low­ing.

Fairoz said: “Yes­ter­day (Satur­day), we ran another pro­gramme for the pi­o­neer group of chil­dren from Bukit Serindit.

“We held sim­ple races for them for the first time.

“The cost of these ac­tiv­i­ties should be low to en­sure they are sus­tain­able.

“Our ob­jec­tive is to keep chil­dren away from un­healthy ac­tiv­i­ties.”

He said the group would be trained to ride in a con­voy in a dis­ci­plined man­ner, and would join another group for ac­tiv­i­ties in Kle­bang.

“We have iden­ti­fied groups of such rid­ers but to main­tain safety, we do not want them to gather in the same place.

“Those from Kle­bang have to ride over to Bukit Serindit,” he said.

Sev­eral con­trib­u­tors have stepped in to pro­vide par­tic­i­pants with safety gear such as hel­mets and brakes, as well as prizes for the com­pe­ti­tions held dur­ing the pro­gramme.

The pro­gramme is usu­ally held ev­ery Satur­day be­tween 7.30am and 11am.

Fairoz said: “Even­tu­ally, we will need more vol­un­teers to join us and run the pro­gramme as I can only be in one area at a time.

“We can al­ready see the chil­dren look­ing at how they can race prop­erly.”

He said good word of mouth had spread around Malacca about chil­dren rid­ing mos­quito bikes, fixed gear bikes or grav­ity bikes. Many across the city had even con­tacted him to find out more about the pro­gramme.

“Next week, we will start to en­gage with groups in Kle­bang.

“So, I hope when they see the group from Bukit Serindit ar­riv­ing with hel­mets and brakes on their bi­cy­cles, the oth­ers will be in­flu­enced to ad­here to the guide­lines.”

The pro­gramme in­volves safety brief­ings and races and is aimed at en­sur­ing that all bi­cy­cle gangs in the state are en­gaged and taught the ba­sic rules of cy­cling.

PIC BY MUHAM­MAD ZUHAIRI ZU­BER

Coach­ing di­rec­tor Fairoz Izni Ab­dul Ghani brief­ing chil­dren on safe rid­ing in Bukit Serindit, Malacca, yes­ter­day.

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