Box Hill Institute and the Yarra Ranges Council have partnered to develop the We Can Ride Youth Mountain Bike program supported by the Victoria Health Promotions Foundation (VicHealth).
The program aims to get youth aged between 7 and 17 years onto their bikes and create a community of young riders. It particularly aims to get more primary aged females and female and male teenagers into riding, equipping them with the necessary skills and giving them insight into how a bike works.
Additional benefits to the program will be encouraging resilience and confidence in young people and supporting positive mental health across the Yarra Ranges.
Box Hill Institute CEO, Vivienne King said, “Our Lilydale Lakeside campus is ideally positioned to support great initiatives like We Can Ride and to engage the community to create awareness, interest and participation.
“These rewarding projects also provide fantastic opportunities for our students to work alongside professionals getting first-hand experience of what it will be like to work in their chosen field, and that can make all the difference when it comes to getting a job,” she said.
We Can Ride was launched in late 2020, an event organised by Box Hill Institute student and former Paralympian, Josh Allison. Josh represented Australia in wheelchair basketball and he’s heavily involved with the elite basketball in Kilsyth. He also recently purchased an all abilities mountain bike!
In addition to We Can Ride, Josh assists council on its MTB trail developments like Lillydale Lake and the Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project, which aims to create a world-class mountain biking destination in the heart of the Yarra Ranges to attract riders of all skill levels from beginner to advanced, across a range of differing terrains, outlooks and environments.
Box Hill Institute will further support the We Can Ride project by delivering short courses in bike maintenance, trail building and design, and instructing and guiding. It’s establishing a workshop for a practical bike tech maintenance course, building a skills track on campus for students, and helping to develop the mountain bike skills track at Lilydale Lake.
Box Hill Institute is exploring ways to support Dr Cranky’s Bikes for Kids initiative by making Lilydale Lakeside campus a site for the community to donate old bikes and having students work on rebuilding them as part of their course, after which the bike can be donated to families and kids in the region who would like a bike.