March 5, 2013, Victoria BC (ISN) – As a result of a unique community partnership 20 new track bikes will help make cycling more affordable and accessible for young cyclists at the Westshore Parks and Recreation Velodrome.
The Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) responded to a lack of equipment by committing a grant to purchase new track bikes, including at least one tandem track bike for para cyclists, by challenging the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association (GVVA) to find matching funds. GVAA has been successful in raising almost $5,000 to equal PISE’s contribution by securing donations and support from provincial sport organizations, cycling manufacturers, local bike shops, national cycling champions, and locals inspired to help youth enjoy cycling in a safe, learning environment.
“These bikes are essential to fuel our growing programs,” said Michael Cooper, President of the GVVA. “Our FastTrack youth program was a great success last year, but with more bikes we could have had many more kids cycling. Novice kids in Westshore and other island communities will now be able to experience the fun of track cycling without the cost of expensive equipment. Thanks to PISE kick starting program growth and to Westshore Parks and Recreation’s ongoing support, it’s going to be a stellar year for sport development at the velodrome.”
The new bikes, provided by Fuji Bikes and assembled by Rider’s Cycles, arrived in time for the start of the 2013 School Bike League. Open to any local youth in Grades 6 to 12, the league is sanctioned by Lower Island School Sports for School Districts 61, 62 and 63 and kicks off with Bike Jam on Good Friday, March 29 at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre. The full-day event will be led by top level coaches including Olympians Kurt Innes and Erinne Willock who will introduce participants to the cycling disciplines of track, road, mountain bike, BMX, cyclocross, dual slalom, dirt jump, pump track, and para cycling. (see backgrounder for more details)
“PISE is very pleased to offer this support to the cycling community to enhance the track experience for existing cyclists and provide opportunities for youth to try a wonderful, healthy activity,” said PISE CEO Robert Bettauer. “We are also excited to help build such a beneficial community partnership between the GVVA and the Westshore Parks and Recreation Velodrome and we look forward to growing that partnership.”