The Arrowsmith Cycling Club wants more young people to take up biking. (PQB News file photo)

Bikes for All project seeks $26K to promote cycling for youth in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Funding sought for purchase of mountain bikes to donate to school programs

The Arrowsmith Cycling Club wants more young people to have the opportunity to go biking.

To achieve that goal, it has come up with a ‘Bikes For All’ proposal and has applied for funding to the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. It is seeking $26,614.

“The ‘Bikes for All Project’ involves the purchase of 15 new mountain bikes,” said Roy Kregosky, vice-president of ACC. “These bikes would be donated to the various after-school bike club programs located in Qualicum School District 69 and form the basis of a loan system or direct donation for students in need.”

The after-school bike clubs, Kregosky pointed out, consist of up to 300 school-aged riders and 50 volunteer leaders.

“These bikes would allow certain students that do not have a bike or do not have the means to purchase one, the ability to participate in cycling activities,” Kregosky explained. “The additional bikes would provide an opportunity for youth to be exposed to and experience endeavours that they may not otherwise have. The project would provide the means for youth to access regional mountain bike networks, including HammerFest, and derive the benefits of pursuing a vigorous, healthy lifestyle with safe social connectivity in an outdoor, natural environment.”

READ MORE: More people than ever mountain biking in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Regardless of whether the bikes are applied as part of a loan system or as a donation, Kregosky indicated, they would continue to provide advantages to students over an extended time period and be an asset to individual schools and students alike.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of mountain biking, and cycling in general, has grown enormously.

“The club, based on previous involvement with the youth cycling community, has been inspired to assist and promote health through physical activity, such as mountain biking, during the post-pandemic ‘return to normal’,” said Kregosky. “The primary importance of this ‘Bikes for All proposal is to use mountain bike riding as a tool for student social, emotional and positive behavioral growth.”

The project has received support from the City of Parksville, the Town of Qualicum Beach and the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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