In early 2020 Bowraville Central School acquired 18 brand new bicycles and helmets as a result of a successful application for the Local Schools Community Fund grant at the end of 2019. Many of our students don't own or have access to a bike and were really looking forward to being able to ride at school.
The bikes were delivered just before the Covid-19 outbreak so the students really didn't have much of a chance to use them. Little did we know at the time how valuable these bikes would be in helping our students readjust to school life after their imposed isolation at home.
Cycling was one activity that was still permitted during the pandemic, so once the students started to return to face to face learning after being at home for so long, the bikes became a priceless resource.
Other sports weren't permitted but the bikes gave students the chance to get a much needed safe physical outlet and to be part of a group while still adhering to social distancing rules. Many students found it difficult to settle back into school but the promise of getting on the bikes encouraged them to keep trying. Often a bike ride before lessons was enough to clear heads and settle students struggling to engage in their learning.
The students absolutely love the opportunity to get out and about on the bike rides. Teachers and support staff too, have been vying for the chance of taking the students on supervised rides. They benefit and love it just as much as the students.
It has been wonderful to see students who normally don't engage in sport embrace the chance to get on a bike. The students are also learning simple maintenance on the bikes giving them another opportunity to think of something other than avoiding the virus. The activity and exercise go a long way to alleviate a lot of built up stress and anxiety in a very enjoyable way for many who have been unable to participate in their usual sport and activities.
And the smiling faces on the cyclists say it all.