Fun, contests and country

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Culture, competition and recreation, are motivating students to ride bikes at remote Yarralin School.

Biking was more widely adopted following the contribution of 15 bikes by teacher Dennis Dean.

Mr Dean said many children have bikes, but the donations — “in varying degrees of disrepair” — were brought for students without bikes.

“The kids are now learning how to fix bikes, watching repair methods and performing tasks to make them road ready,” he said.

“And children from Transition to Grade 6 are using bikes in short duration lap racing.

“Cycling is also used for recreation and cultural enrichment. Recently, we rode four kilometres to a local billabong to collect freshwater crocodile eggs — a prized traditional delicacy.

“Biking into the bush immerses the students in plant and animal lore, and stimulates discussions about ancient customs, especially when artefacts such as stone tools are discovered.”

Mr Dean said cycling boosts physical and mental fitness, expands perspectives, and promotes positive social interactions.

“Every day before school, and at recess and lunchtime, the kids are riding their bikes,” he said.

“The students love riding, and it’s an activity that counters unhealthy behaviours.”

Mr Dean will organise a running and cycling Duathlon later this year.

Yarralin School bikes
Teachers Dennis Dean and Holly Bluhm with Transition to Grade 6 billabong visitors.

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