Link October 2018 Volume 27 Issue 5 - Page 36

issues

Like riding a bike

By Dave Fagg
Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for most children . Many people fondly remember the wobbles , the crashes , the yells of encouragement from parents , and the glorious exhilaration at finally staying upright .

But for many children with

disability , learning to ride a bike is a skill they do not master . Parents may not feel as confident to teach their children , or children may have developmental or physical disabilities which make learning to ride a significant challenge .
A school in Bendigo is helping students overcome that challenge with an innovative bike education program . With support from the City of Greater Bendigo , Kalianna School uses the Bike Ed program developed by VicRoads .
The Bike Ed program helps students to learn many aspects of cycling , including learning to ride , road rules , and basic mechanics . Several students also made the trek to the Blackwood Special Schools Outdoor Education Centre , a destination for students from Victorian special schools to participate in outdoor adventure programs , where they tackled the challenge of riding 100km in two days along the Wangaratta to Bright Rail Trail .
Kalianna is a specialist school for students aged five to 18 , with a reputation for innovation : the facilities are being upgraded , and a
From left : Kane Wilson , George Stockdale , Chloe Felsenthal , Christine Goodes , Angelica Dix , Samantha Hunter and Rick Poulter .
ground-breaking partnership with La Trobe University has been signed . In 2017 , its team collected four gongs from the Principals ’ Association of Specialist Schools Victoria .
Link met with Christine Goodes , the teacher who leads Bike Ed at the school , as well as several students who had participated in the program . Ms Goodes is full of pride for her students . “ The students have really grown in confidence ,” she said .
“ Before this program , one of our students always used training wheels at home . Now he has the confidence to ride without them .”
This sense of confidence-building is a key aim of the Bike Ed program . George , a Kalianna student , achieved this in spades .
“ I learned heaps about riding , especially about changing gears to get up hills , and riding in pairs . And I got a sore bum !” said George .
The physical aspect of the program is closely tied with the students ’ mental health .
“ We find that so many of our students love being physical ; it calms their anxiety . And bike riding is a great way of relaxing while also creating independence ,” Ms Goodes said .
Angelica , a student who attended the Blackwood Centre program , agreed : “ Even though I hadn ’ t ridden a bike much before this camp , it was really relaxing . It was so much fun .”
Schools and community organisations can sign up to the Bike Ed program . VicRoads supports the program by training teachers as accredited instructors , supplying printable templates for classes , and hiring out bikes and other cycling equipment . www . vicroads . vic . gov . au www . blackwoodssoec . vic . edu . au www . kalianna . vic . edu . au
36 issues linkonline . com . au
issues Like riding a bike By Dave Fagg Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage for most children. Many people fondly remember the wobbles, the crashes, the yells of encouragement from parents, and the glorious exhilaration at finally staying upright. B ut for many children with disability, learning to ride a bike is a skill they do not master. Parents may not feel as confident to teach their children, or children may have developmental or physical disabilities which make From left: Kane Wilson, George Stockdale, Chloe Felsenthal, Christine Goodes, Angelica Dix, Samantha Hunter and Rick Poulter. learning to ride a significant challenge. A school in Bendigo is helping The physical aspect of the students overcome that challenge La Trobe University has been signed. program is closely tied with the with an innovative bike education In 2017, its team collected four gongs students’ mental health. program. With support from the City from the Principals’ Association of of Greater Bendigo, Kalianna School Specialist Schools Victoria. uses the Bike Ed program developed by VicRoads. The Bike Ed program helps Link met with Christine Goodes, their anxiety. And bike riding is a great way of relaxing while also creating independence,” Ms Goodes said. cycling, including learning to ride, Goodes is full of pride for her students. to the Blackwood Special Schools students love being physical; it calms school, as well as several students who had participated in the program. Ms Several students also made the trek “We find that so many of our the teacher who leads Bike Ed at the students to learn many aspects of road rules, and basic mechanics. “The students have really grown in confidence,” she said. “Before this program, one of our Angelica, a student who attended the Blackwood Centre program, agreed: “Even though I hadn’t ridden a bike much before this camp, it was really relaxing. It was so much fun.” Outdoor Education Centre, a students always used training wheels destination for students from Victorian at home. Now he has the confidence organisations can sign up to the special schools to participate in to ride without them.” Bike Ed program. VicRoads supports outdoor adventure programs, This sense of confidence-build )Ḿչ)ѡɽɅɅѕ́)ݡɔѡхѡ́䁅ѡ ɽɅɕѕՍѽ̰她)ɥݼ́ѡɝ-Ցаٕɥхѕѕ́ȁ͕̰)]ɅфѼ ɥЁIQɅѡ̸́ɥЁ́ѡȁ危)-́Ё͍()ɽչɕѹ͡ݥѠ+q$ɹ́Ёɥ)եи)ȁՑ́ٔѼఁݥѠ䁅Ё́Ѽܹ٥ɽ̹٥ع)ɕхѥȁمѥѡЁ̰ɥ̸$ܹݽͽ٥Թ)ѥ́ɔɅЁͽɔմtͅɝܹ٥Թ)Օ$$)