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New AusBike education program to get kids back on bikes

01 September 2023

AusCycling has announced a new cycling education program designed to give kids aged 5 to 12 the foundational skills needed to build their confidence and competence.

A young boy wearing a bicycle helmet while riding a bike. A man wearing a bright safety vest in the background.
The new AusBike program caters for children of all levels of cycling experience. Photo: AusCycling

Backed Australian Sports Commission, AusBike has been designed by expert coaches and is based on the CORE4Skills, an evidence-based framework for developing, practicing and embedding fundamental bike skills.

As well as providing an important life skill, AusCycling hopes AusBike will help reverse the decline in the national rate of active travel to school, which has plunged from 75% to 25% in the past 40 years.

AusBike will take children on a progressive journey aimed at building the fundamental skills, awareness and confidence to ride safely. It will be delivered nationally by accredited instructors through cycling and riding clubs, leisure centres and private coaches from Term 4, with plans to extend the program to schools from 2024.

The program caters for children of all levels of bike riding experience – whether they’re just off training wheels or further down the track with their cycling journey. More than 5,000 kids have already experienced AusBike through its pilot phase, through partnerships with Belgravia Leisure, YMCA Camps and AusCycling’s club network.

AusCycling Chief Executive Officer Marne Fechner hoped AusBike would set the standard or introductory programs for sport participation.

“With such a staggering decline in active travel to school, we believe AusBike will help to not only build confidence, but also see people fall in love with bike riding again and see participation in activity grow.” She said.

“We’ve involved a broad range of experts to develop this program to ensure it is beneficial for both Australian children and their parents.”

Minister for Sport Anika Wells welcomed creating more opportunities for children to enjoy getting active.

“Being active and outdoors on a bike has immense mental and physical health benefits but sadly fewer kids are experiencing the joys of riding a pushy,” she said.

“Our $2,050,000 investment in AusBike will help produce a new generation of experienced and confident bike riders.”

Australian Sports Commission Chief Executive Officer Kieren Perkins said the ASC was proud to support programs that helped Australians get active and enjoy the physical, mental and social health benefits that being involved in sport and physical activity brings.

“We believe that sport has a place for everyone and by catering for children at any stage of their bike riding journey, AusBike will encourage children that may not have hopped on a bike before to give cycling a go.”

“We’ve seen swimming lessons become an important part of childhood and we’ve got the opportunity to ensure the next generation of Australians see the importance of also learning to ride in a similar way.”

“Logan Martin’s BMX freestyle gold at Tokyo two years ago, and major events on home soil like the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong are helping show Australians of all ages what’s possible on two wheels and inspire the next generation to ride safely and have fun.”

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