Overcoming deprivation

A South Dunedin cycling initiative overcame obstacles caused by the area's deprivation by giving young people equipment and skills, the Public Health Association Conference heard.

South Dunedin Cycling Project manager Rose Dovey and Safer Journeys co-ordinator Charlotte Flaherty presented details of the project to delegates.

It is hoped the initiative continues when its funding expires in 2016-17, by getting locals involved and interested.

Its effectiveness is being evaluated among Queen's High School pupils with the help of the University of Otago.

Deprivation in the area meant many people did not have helmets and bikes, and had not been taught how to ride a bike.

Bikes were provided where necessary.

Cycle skills sessions were provided to 700 people aged between 12 and 17 last year.

The project involves the city council, schools, recreational bike clubs, local funding bodies, and youth training providers.

Funding from the Otago Community Trust allowed 500 young people to participate in mountain biking, BMX and road cycling sessions.

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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