BikeRescue visits Esperance

Eight local children spent last week dismantling, repairing and painting bicycles at the Esperance Nyungar Aboriginal Corporation as part of the BikeRescue youth development program.

The hands-on program was held from Monday, July 8, until Friday, July 12, and aimed to mentor young people to help them build on their knowledge and social skills.

It was the first time the week-long program had been run in the Esperance region, thanks to a generous grant from Southern Ports Authority and the guidance of BikeRescue manager Lawson Smith.

Goldfields Education officer Jane Petz said the bike therapy had been a great success, with each of the children having embraced the challenge and an opportunity to get creative.

"We have eight participants that have dismantled the bikes and painted the frame very creatively," Ms Petz said.

"They managed to put the bike back together with all new cables and with working brakes and gears.

"It has been very challenging at times but very exciting.

"The kids loved the spray painting and getting creative with the colours.

"The program is bike therapy, it's about dealing with challenging times and strategies to get through and overcome challenges.

"Really, it's behaviour therapy.

"It's about getting them better engaged at school and also learn better strategies for coping with difficulties in life.

"The first few days are spent in pairs, and that's doing some team building."

The children later took the bikes to Adventureland Park, testing them out on the brand new bike trail.

Ms Petz said the program had been so successful that the organisation would consider running it regularly.

Ms Petz extended thanks to the agencies that had supported the program, including BikeRescue, Hope Community Services and Escare.