Six students in total from Bundarra Primary School, Portland Primary School and Portland South Primary School will receive free bicycles as part of the Brumby Government’s 1000 bike Ride2School giveaway, Western Victoria MP Gayle Tierney announced today.
The lucky recipients were nominated for the prize by their school for their leadership qualities. All nominees were selected as a reward for either participating in their school bike club or taking part in a bicycle education program.
Ms Tierney said students at these schools were leading the way in the Victorian Government’s ‘Go for your life’ Ride2School program, being run with support from Bicycle Victoria.
“We want to give our kids the best start in life and that means keeping them healthy and encouraging them to be more active – and cycling is a great way to do that,” Ms Tierney said.
“Studies show that kids who are involved in sport and recreation at a young age are more likely to remain active as adults.
“The Brumby Government’s Go for your life program aims to tackle the growing problems of obesity and diabetes and help those at risk of developing these preventable diseases.”
Two students from 500 Government schools across the state will receive free Malvern Star bicycles before Christmas as part of the Ride2School 1000 Bikes Student Leadership Reward giveaway.
The Minister for Sport and Recreation, James Merlino, said figures showed the number of children walking or riding to school had dropped sharply since the 1970s, from 80 per cent to just 20 per cent today.
“Walking or riding to school is a very easy way for young people to get some of the 60 minutes exercise they need every day just to stay healthy,” Mr Merlino said.
“These bikes will help the Year 6 students who receive them make an active transition to secondary school and hopefully encourage them to continue to ride and stay fit throughout their lives.”
Mr Merlino said recipients of the free bikes would be able to collect them from local bike shops, where they would be specially fitted to meet each student’s needs. Each student will also receive a free helmet and bike lock.
The Ride2School Program complements a number of other Victorian Government programs including Bike Shed Seeding Grants, the Walk and Wheel-a-thon healthy fundraiser and Ride2School Day, which in March this year saw thousands of students across the state ride their bikes to school.