300 new bikes help Illawarra youths get mobile

Tom Willard with council youth services co-ordinator Toby Schaefer-Darling. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

Tom Willard with council youth services co-ordinator Toby Schaefer-Darling. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

Hundreds of new bikes will be pedalling their way to Illawarra youth, courtesy of a nationwide program to get kids off the couch and onto bicycle saddles.

The Happiness Cycle, supported locally by Wollongong City Council, will link up 300 young people around the region with new bikes. Youths who pre-register online will get their choice of a fixed-gear, BMX or mountain bike, and will be taught how to assemble and care for their bikes at the Snakepit on June 26.

"The process of earning the bike is by committing to being physically active," said council youth services co-ordinator Toby Schaefer-Darling.

"It is primarily about getting kids who don't have bikes more active and experiencing the joy and fun of owning a bike."

The Snakepit event will have local bike mechanics volunteering to help recipients assemble their new bikes, as well as giving tips on maintenance and repair.

"The key thing is the experience of learning how to put a bike together, to give them the pleasure of doing something they might never have had the opportunity to do," Mr Schaefer-Darling said.

Priority is given to those aged 15 or 16.

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