BMX show helps open school’s track
Kiwi kids love riding their bikes to school.
But for many who live in rural communities, families rely on the bus to transport their children to school every day.
That’s the case for most kids attending Walton School.
But thanks to the hard work of staff and parents, their young pupils now have the option of exercising their pedal power while at school.
BMX track designer Paul Langlands from Cambridge helped design the school’s new cycle track which was officially opened on Saturday.
Principal Jeremy Kurth said the track was constructed in October and the finishing touches made earlier this year.
‘‘The kids have already been using the track and some of them had been turning up with their own bikes to use it.
‘‘But we’ve got some bikes here at school and the idea is to keep them in a container, so kids can use them during the day.’’
Kurth said about 90 per cent of the school’s 122 pupils used the bus to get to school and so having the bikes stored on site would be a bonus.
‘‘It’ll mean that kids won’t have to bring their bikes to school.’’
The track cost about $3000 to build. Matamata company J.Swap had provided most of the material to shape the track while Bikes in Schools had also sponsored 20 helmets for the school to use.
Kurth said the benefit of being a rural school meant there were ’’a lot of fathers with tractors, who knew what they’re doing’’ and were able to help construct the track.
‘‘It was suppose to take about five days to build but was done in about two.
‘‘The track also uses a part of the school’s ground we weren’t using a lot before.’’
Deputy principal Kane Fraser led the cycle track project for the school.
‘‘Our hope is that people will also come along and use the track, we really want to open it up to the public.’’
Langlands helped design the jumps on the track and was a big drawcard, along with friend, BMX dirt rider Nico Groenendijk, at the open day.
The pair performed a ‘‘Freestyle Festival BMX display’’ after putting the new track to the test alongside kids, staff and parents on their bikes.
A ramp was set up for a special freestyle BMX display at Walton School. Rider Nico Groenendijk falls down to earth during the performance.
Walton School kids test their new cycle track with its designer, Paul Langlands. More photos on page 23.