Tahatai Coast School is finally celebrating its brand new cycling facility, a project to promote wellness and bike safety among tamariki.
After a year of hard work, the school cut the ribbon last Friday to officially open the cycle track.
Five-year-old Sammy Abraham was the first student to enthusiastically boost around the 500m long track.
School principal Matt Skilton says it has been a long time coming and he is now eager to see it put to good use.
He addressed the school's 800 students, staff, and community members at the opening.
"We hope to see this facility utilised where some may learn to ride a bike for the first time, where families can enjoy spending time together."
'It's promoting health and wellbeing through safe cycling and is a really big deal for our primary school and our community.”
Student Daniel Hart, 11, agrees. He reckons this track will motivate his peers to cycle to school more regularly.
'Having the new bike track means we now have a new safe and easy-to-learn [area to] improve our skills. We hope the bike track will encourage more people to bike to school and during the weekend.”
Alongside the cycle track, the school has also received a 40-foot shipping container kitted out with bike racks, bikes and helmets, grass replacements and a fix-it repair station. Matt says the total cost of the project was $130,000.
He reiterates this track isn't just for students, but the wider community.
'We want our whanau to be connected with our kura, where we are seen as a resource for the community.”
'Continued development of our school grounds is not just for the benefit of our students during school time, but to the benefit to the wider community outside of school hours.”
The cycle track, initiated by Tahatai School, has been supported by Project Tauranga and Bike On Charitable Trust.
Bike On Charitable Trust contributed $55,000 to the project, which came from the NZTA BikeReady programme.