By Angela Norval
What started as a fun outdoor activity for the small number of students at school during Covid lockdowns has fast become a regular activity for Childers State School.
Once a week, students are now bringing their bikes to school as part of the mountain biking club operating after school.
This session is held on alternating Wednesdays and Thursdays to allow students with other community an opportunity to attend and is now attracting up to 30 participants who love the fact that the back of the school provides a small forest area.
Thanks to the support of accredited trail builder Andrew Cole, students are able to test their skills on trails of varying degrees of difficulty.
Principal Robyn Philpott was pleased to see so many students participating.
“Mountain biking is a challenging activity and not only does it improve their fitness level, but we’ve noticed an increase in the levels of resilience and determination from students,” she said.
“The students have a lot of fun each week and support each other as they ride the trails and have even learnt bike maintenance and how to do minor repairs.”
The school aims to offer students as many different experiences as possible with a strong instrumental music program, encouraged participating in inter-class, inter-house, inter-school and representative sports and have an extensive outdoor education program in which all year levels participate in an excursion or camp.
When it comes to the mountain biking there are also three teachers who actively supervise and participate each week plus teacher aides who volunteer to stay and help with supervision and any first aid.
“The school mountain biking program has sparked an interest in riding in some families with them heading out to the local trails on weekends,” she said.
“They have been enjoying the trails at Cordalba State Forest (Promised Land), the Toogoom trail network and the popular Turtle Trail at Bargara.”