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Gippsland schools compete in regional Bike Ed Challenge finals

Twelve schools competed in the Gippsland Municipal Challenge finals at the Hazelwood Power Children’s Traffic School in Morwell

By Latrobe City Council - 2nd November 2001 - Back to News

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Twelve schools competed in the Gippsland Municipal Challenge finals at the Hazelwood Power Children’s Traffic School in Morwell, with Mirboo North and Poowong Primary Schools taking out the honours to represent Gippsland in the Bike Ed Challenge State Championships. The State Championships take place in Shepparton on Friday 23 November.

VicRoads Regional Road Safety Coordinator, Greg Ryan, said the two schools had some tough opposition from the other ten Gippsland schools with all participants showing highly developed bike skills.

"In the end, Mirboo North Primary School won the Bike Ed Challenge by four points, but Poowong Primary School was a very close second," Mr Ryan said.

The students were required to demonstrate safe cycling skills, knowledge of the road law, correct negotiation of roundabouts and other intersections, balancing and manoeuvring skills.

"The winning school received a grand trophy and both schools received $600 cash, plus the right to the compete in the State Championship. This will be the Third State Final, and Mirboo North is the reigning state Champion with victories in 1999 and 2000," Mr Ryan said.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Brendan Jenkins, said it was extremely encouraging that so many schools had now adopted the VicRoads Bike Ed program.

"The program teaches safe cycling skills, knowledge of the road law and positive attitudes towards road safety. It is important to teach these skills at a young age. They are our future drivers and the Bike Ed program involves practical hands on training that helps to shape the positive attitudes necessary for safe driving," Cr Jenkins said.

Mr Ryan said the program was introduced three years ago and had been increasing in popularity since then. Whilst the young riders gain points for demonstrating the ability to meet course requirements, riders could also lose points for undisciplined actions. VicRoads, RoadSafe Victoria, Victoria Police, and The Department of Education, Employment and Training conduct the Challenges.

Mr Ryan praised Gippsland schools for participating in the event. He said the skills demonstrated by the students were of a high standard. "The students were a credit to their schools, they displayed responsible and disciplined behaviour which is needed on our roads," Mr Ryan said.

Out of a possible 600 bonus points Mirboo North finished with 516 and Poowong 512. Thomas Rawlings from Eagle Point finished with a score of 68 to be recognised as best individual boy rider and Jessica Hancock from Poowong finished with a score of 69 to be recognised best individual girl rider.


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