Kids' bike track wins top recreation award

15 December 2014

Wellington’s first mountain bike track for the city’s children has won the New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) award for an outstanding recreation project.

The South Coast Kids’ Track, located in Island Bay, was developed in partnership with the Council by a committee of local parents who wanted somewhere close by and easily accessible for their kids to ride off-road.  It opened in June this year.

Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she is delighted at the accolade for the track. “Junior off-road facilities inspire an early love of cycling,” she says. “Getting kids active is important for our city.”

Councillor Paul Eagle, chair of the Council committee responsible for recreation, accepted the award at the annual NZRA Conference held recently at Lincoln University.

“More and more children are getting on their bikes and now they can develop their biking skills in a safe environment. The track is key to getting young people active outdoors, which means they’re more likely to be active when they’re adults. It’s all part of the vision to make Wellington New Zealand’s mountain biking capital.”

Cr Eagle acknowledged the huge volunteer effort and locally provided materials and equipment for the project. “The track was developed by the community for the community.  Thank you to everyone – especially the neighbours – who planned, dug, planted and supported the track being built."

The initial track design was developed by Jeremy Blake, a member of the local parents group; Ric Balfour from Trail Fund New Zealand and Russel Garlick from the Wellington Mountain Bike Club. The construction was completed by Southstar Trails and the local community also helped tweak the design.

Kether Gati, member of the local committee, noted: “Our aim was to provide an off-road cycling loop with ups, downs and fun features, that children and adults could use to gain skills and confidence”.

The committee was successful in receiving funding from a number of agencies including Trail Fund New Zealand, Bike Wellington, Revolve Cycling and the Council.

The NZRA awards are presented annually and represent the very best achievements, contributions and innovations in sport and recreation in New Zealand.