Students’ incredible bike gift

Students’ incredible bike gift

Jess Gray (BikeRescue), Heath Dullard (SRC principal), Alec Clarke (SRC Student), Zachary Edgelow (ADPS), Brendan Thomson (BikeRescue).

Lucky students from Ashburton Drive Primary School have some cool new wheels thanks to a group of Southern River College students.

The students have been participating in a bike refurbishing project with BikeRescue, a charity which aims to rescue discarded bikes from landfill, giving them a new lease of life.

Over 10 weeks, participants dismantle and rebuild two bikes each.

The first bike is donated, which earns them the second one to customise and keep for themselves.

During each session, the students work alongside BikeRescue mentors, all from youthwork backgrounds with training in bike mechanics.

As well as supporting the students in their bike building, the mentors also provide support and encouragement to the students to help them set and achieve goals.

College students have been able to access this program thanks to a grant from the Department of Transport’s Your Move Program, which supports young people to ride, walk or scoot all or part of the way to school.

College wellbeing centre manager, Patrick Warr, said that the 10 students from Years 9 and 10 have embraced the program.

“The students have been working hard on their bikes,” he said.

“They’ve been enthusiastic, keen to learn new skills and have been supporting each other to get the bikes finished. The program has a great energy, and I would definitely support the program running again.”

Teacher Zachary Edgelow collected the bikes on behalf of Ashburton Drive Primary School and was thrilled at their quality.

“It was fantastic to receive the bikes from the wonderful students at Southern River College,” he said.

“The standard of the restored bikes is amazing.

“I was surprised to hear that the students had basically built these bikes from the ground up, using a range of old bike parts that they had to assemble together.

“They even went as far as to clean up all of the parts and paint them so they look fresh and new, with some great colour choices that our students will love.”

For participant Alec Clarke, the program has many benefits.

“BikeRescue has been great. I’ve learned new skills and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s good knowing that I’m saving bikes from landfill, and it’s good knowing that someone who needs a bike is going to get one thanks to the work I’ve done,” he said.

“I think all schools should have the BikeRescue program.”