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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

AustCycle helmet promotion brings smiles to Okaparinga

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AustCycle Provider Ride-a-Bike Right has been busy getting local Okaparinga residents back on their bikes, running free programs for adults with a disability.

Owner and Teacher at Ride-a-Bike Right, Lee-Anne Fleming, ran the course, which was funded under the Australian Government’s Healthy Communities Initiative.

The three-week program was a follow up to an earlier one funded by the Department of Social Inclusion and taught participants basic bike handling and bike maintenance skills to give them the confidence to ride unassisted, change tyres and fix punctures.

At the final lesson held this September, Lee-Anne wanted to reward one of the participants for his continual eagerness and positivity and so she presented him with a free helmet.

“Tim is an adult with a disability and he hasn’t ridden since he was six,” Lee-Anne told AustCycle. “In the first session we were just trying to get him walking around so he could learn to balance, and he wasn’t too successful. So we put him on the trike and then at the second session he was riding a bike! We knew he could do it but we just had to convince him”.

“He kept saying to me ‘Lee-Anne can we do this next, Lee-Anne can we do this again’. He was so completely keen and he even started riding with his uncle outside of the course so giving him the helmet was recognition of his effort, his positivity and his desire to improve”.

With the AustCycle lessons now over, Tim plans to work on improving his fitness levels so that he can complete the 18km leg of the Amy Gillett Foundation ride. It is hoped his new helmet will further motivate him to do this.

“He couldn’t believe it was his,” Lee-Anne added. “He kept checking whether it was actually for him and whether he would get to take it home. He was a very, very sweet guy”.

The helmet is one of many that AustCycle distributed to its Providers who are delivering HCI programs to the community. The aim of the helmet incentive is to increase helmet safety and similarly, increase access to helmets for people who may not be able to purchase themselves one.

Lee-Anne, who regularly runs HCI programs within South Australia, said that the AustCycle funding has helped so many people.

“It’s really, really amazing,” Lee-Anne said. “One of the women in Okaparinga actually took days off work to attend the cycling course. These programs and the funding for things like helmets and trikes are really changing people’s lives”.

To find out more about Ride-a-Bike Right contact Lee-Anne on 0431 120 802.  To find out more about AustCycle visit http://www.austcycle.com.au.

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