Now in its second year of regular programming, Bikes Palya! is shifting sand in APY Lands communities.
The program has so far provided over 70 bikes to schools. Originally gifted by Bike SA members these have been rebuilt by senior students and are now used as attendance rewards and fitness activities. Teachers have reported the program has improved attendance and behaviour in some hard to reach youth.
During visits, instructors work with students and staff to make videos covering bike care and maintenance as well as on road safety and skills. These provide schools with support material and showcase the students’ knowledge and abilities. The talented team’s presence is being felt in the wider community. The ‘Bike hospital’ is proving to be a hit, providing essential cycling items and repair assistance to community members. Meanwhile art continues to be a powerful tool in engaging the youth, employed through painting signs promoting social behavior, and even ‘pimping’ the bikes themselves!
The program links young people with services outside schools as well, working closely with youth centres and job providers for example, helping strengthen community social fabric. Responding to the strong need for meaningful recreational activities and community projects we are in the process of facilitating the construction of several BMX tracks, a notable milestone saw ground cleared for a new track in Kenmore Park just last week! None of this could be possible without the support from organisations such as CMV group, Tooth and Nail studio and Mash Design.
The program continues to benefit from collaboration with University of South Australia and The Australian Centre for Social Innovation. Exciting times, stay tuned for more updates. Bikes Palya! Team.
You can read more about Bike SA’s work in the APY Lands here.