Avenel kids ex­cel

Pri­mary school stu­dents place in RACV En­ergy Break­through

Seymour Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Ali­son O'Con­nor

Small school, big re­sult. Avenel Pri­mary School’s fourth ven­ture to the RACV En­ergy Break­through in Mary­bor­ough has been hailed a rag­ing suc­cess, with the school’s two teams wind­ing up with a sec­ond and fourth place in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gory.

And if that wasn’t im­pres­sive enough, Year 6 stu­dent Fin­bar O’Sul­li­van set the lap record at the event — rid­ing the 1.1 km course at an av­er­age speed of 38.3 km/h.

The En­ergy Break­through sees stu­dents from schools across Vic­to­ria race hu­man powered ve­hi­cles in a 14-hour en­durance chal­lenge.

Stu­dents are also re­quired to de­liver an aca­demic pre­sen­ta­tion out­lin­ing the de­sign and con­struc­tion el­e­ments of their ve­hi­cle, and also speak on ar­eas such as diet, nu­tri­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity.

Avenel’s teams co­or­di­na­tor Ja­nia Cot­ter said the school’s two teams — Oak Tree Rac­ing One, and Oak Tree Rac­ing Two — were se­lected from in­ter­ested years 5 and 6 stu­dents way back in term one, and the stu­dents had been train­ing all year for the event.

‘‘Ini­tially the kids were train­ing on the re­cum­bent bikes we have here to get their fit­ness up, and then we started for­mal train­ing in term three which re­ally honed their skills,’’ Ms Cot­ter said.

‘‘One of our teams placed sec­ond, and the other placed fourth, which is just a huge ef­fort for our lit­tle school.

‘‘The over­all score for the teams was 50 per cent from their pre­sen­ta­tion, and 50 per cent rid­ing on the bikes.

‘‘The kids had to come up with a pre­sen­ta­tion on a spe­cific topic, and one of our teams did theirs as a news re­port, and the other did theirs as an alien in­va­sion, so it was a bit of a per­for­mance, and they had to talk to the judges about the de­sign and con­struc­tion of the bike as well.

‘‘Then they ride their hu­man powered ve­hi­cles and they have to com­plete as many laps as they can over the 14 hours, and it’s all about them work­ing to­gether as a team and mak­ing quick pit changes.

‘‘The kids ab­so­lutely love it, they re­ally do have a ball.’’

Fin­bar — who set the track record for fastest lap in prac­tise mean­ing his team got pole po­si­tion for the start — said it was an ‘‘awe­some’’ ex­pe­ri­ence to be part of such a large-scale event, which at­tracts more than 10 000 peo­ple an­nu­ally.

‘‘It’s ex­tremely fun be­ing in the bikes where you get to go as hard as you can for as long as you can,’’ Fin­bar said.

‘‘To set the lap record was ex­cit­ing, my aim was to just re­ally go hard and they do live tracks of all the laps you do so I could see how I was go­ing.

‘‘It was a team ef­fort though, we wouldn’t be able to do the 14 hours of the race if we didn’t have all 10 peo­ple do­ing their best.’’

Stu­dent power: Avenel Pri­mary School’s Oak Tree Rac­ing teams fin­ished in sec­ond and fourth place in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gory.

On board: School cap­tains Darby O’Brien and Tess Walker were part of the school’s suc­cess­ful teams.

Speedy: Avenel Pri­mary School stu­dent Fin­bar O’Sul­li­van clocked the fastest lap time at this year’s event.

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