Bicycle Network’s free Ride2School program has shared the joy of riding with hundreds of thousands of students for 17 years. But the program, beloved by schools across the country, is under threat.
Successive funding cuts could see the program, which encourages, empowers and enables children to get physically active on their journey to and from school, end in July.
Bicycle Network’s expert team has supported thousands of schools in breaking down barriers that prevent students from taking active journeys to school. The program has been funded by the Victorian Government since 2006.
Bicycle Network CEO Alison McCormack says the funding provided by Sport and Recreation Victoria is changing as part of a new active transport program introduced in the State Budget.
“Our Ride2School team has worked behind the scenes to build a new generation of healthy young people and support them to learn healthy habits that last a lifetime. We would be devastated to see this program reduced or diminished in any way.
“We have never asked the public to support our program before, but we have decided to put out an urgent call to help Save Ride2School with a $50,000 immediate cash injection before the end of this financial year. We are hoping to receive support from donors, local councils and other State Government departments,” says McCormack.
“The program’s success has been incredible over the years. Last year, 96 per cent of schools that participated in Ride2School told us they were likely or very likely to recommend the program to other schools and 42% or schools ranked the program 10/10.”
Ride2School offers schools bike safety and maintenance sessions, riding course advice and planning and equipment and resources.
Students learn road safety awareness and skills, and many gain the confidence to ride a bike to school for the first time. The program supports schools to develop active travel maps, which outline routes to get all students to their school safely.
Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program is celebrated annually in March, when schools across the nation join National Ride2School Day.
This year 366,000 students at 871 schools around the country rode a bike, scooter, or skateboard, or walked to school on National Ride2School Day. In Victoria, a record-breaking 210,000 students at 500 schools got involved.
“Those numbers are testament to the wonderful program we have created over almost two decades.
“While we wait to revise the program and partner with other organisations, we have a long list of school children who are in desperate need of bike education and our other services. Please donate to help us to keep Ride2School going,” says McCormack.
The funds raised will steady the ship as Bicycle Network pursues new sources of funding over the coming months, and enable its team to continue their important work with school communities to promote physical activity among young Australians.
Donations of all sizes will help these efforts, and this what they would mean to us:
- $25 could pay for a road safety awareness session for one student
- $50 could pay for a bike education skills session for one student
- $100 could pay for a training session on an adapted cycle for one student
- $500 could pay for a Bicycle Network-hosted active travel day at one school
- $1000 could pay for an active travel map outlining safe routes to get students to one school
- $5000 could pay for a complete Ride2School program for one school.
Visit our campaign page to get involved.