After four years of planning and fundraising, Whangaparaoa Primary School’s bike track has opened.
The track, which circumnavigates the school field, has been in the pipeline since 2013, when a group of year 6 students got the ball rolling.
Initially suggested by a student survey, the track was picked up as part of the Futureintech scheme, and the school’s TravelWise team worked with an engineer to design and research the project.
Their efforts won the team a merit in the Transpower Neighbourhood Engineering Awards in 2013, with the prize money used to kickstart the project.
The team of students, now in year 10, returned to their old school on Wednesday afternoon to officially open the track.
Principal Kevin Cronin blessed the opening with a karakia, sprinkling water on the new asphalt, and pupils united to sing a waiata.
Kronin thanked parents, staff, sponsors and supporters, and spoke of the memories pupils will make on the new track, including the odd scraped knee.
After the ribbon was cut, the pupils got their chance to enjoy the track for the first time.
Heading off in single file, the pupils biked, scootered, and walked around the track.
Whangaparaoa Primary School has spent the last three years fundraising for the track, which cost around $85,000.
A Givealittle page allowed parents and supporters to contribute directly to the project, and fundraising nights proved successful.
The school’s latest quiz night run by school parents raised over $10,000 and the school Parents and Friends association raised $10,000.
The track has also received support from the Harcourts foundation, organised through the Manly and Orewa branches, the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, the Lion Foundation, Constellation Communities Trust, and Fulton Hogan.
Bike On Trust gave support through Bikes in Schools, sourcing a set of bikes and donating helmets.
The track will assist in educating pupils on road safety and bike confidence, as well as encouraging environmentally friendly transport and healthy lifestyle choices.
The bike track will be open for members of the public to use after school hours, and a pump track is to be added.
– Rodney Times