Avenel kids excel
Primary school students place in RACV Energy Breakthrough
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.