Letters: Bike skills are about education

Principals supporting bike skills park in Sooke is part of education for students

One letter writer last week did not like the idea of school principals supporting the proposed T’Souke Community Bike Park. This playground is directly in the interests of school students and it is entirely within administrators’ rights to advocate on issues affecting their students.

Schools and recreation programs will have full free use of the bike playground for programs. Having this bike park in Sooke has a direct effect on schools’ ability to provide quality recreational programming to their student body. Currently school tax dollars are spent busing kids to recreational facilities in Victoria and beyond. Let’s keep the kids learning here in Sooke.

Mountain biking is a fast-growing recreational activity that is accessible to a broad range of kids, including those who don’t enjoy or can’t afford organized team sports. Just three brief examples demonstrate this.

The head of the bike program at Cedar Secondary said that, in the last few years, six times as many of their students have gotten involved in their mountain biking club.” The after-school bike program at Margaret Jenkins Elementary went from 50 to 100 kids last year. In Boothroyd, the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Project is building a bike park and the youth there are gaining skills in biking, leadership, and volunteerism.

These are just a few examples of youth and family positive initiatives happening in other communities. This is the direction we should be heading. To address another point in last week’s letter: I would trust school principals to know what they understand or not, and what is appropriate for them to say or not. To say school administrators should not express an opinion on this – and that they should not even be invited to is incorrect.

Michael Linehan

Sooke

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