GET PEDALING: Bill Dalton, mayor, Napier City Council, cutting the ribbon at Bledisloe School, to officially open a new 650m Bikes in Schools track. PHOTO/Duncan Brown.
Students and teachers alike at Bledisloe School revelled in the opening of their new bike track on Thursday, with a triathlon to mark the occasion.
Principal Carol Bevis said it was "fabulous" to see the facility opened, after negotiations first started in 2015.
"It was so lovely to have it all come together and be able to officially open it and acknowledge the support that we've had from the council and Bikes and Schools and Sport Hawke's Bay," Ms Bevis said.
Their yearly summer triathlon coincided with the opening and saw about half of the school's more than 350 student population descend on the school grounds - from those who started school last week to the senior Year 6s of the school.
"It is a lovely way to start the year and meet families and all our staff were involved as well so it is a chance for families to come along and have a chat informally to their teacher and also supports our swimming programme because we are lucky enough to have a pool so it is a way of supporting that too. This year it was made even more special because we had the track," Ms Bevis said.
"The track is a great facility for the Taradale community and we would love to see families using it with their kids after school and on the weekends and we hope that it becomes a neat part of the Taradale community."
The pathway has been funded by iWay Napier (Napier City Council), which is subsidised by NZTA.
It sits on both school grounds and council reserve and at 650m in length the pathway is one of the longest Bikes in Schools tracks in the country.
Napier mayor Bill Dalton cut the ribbon at the event and said it was a fantastic occasion.
"At the time I was incredibly proud to be the mayor of Napier because what happened with this is it is a combination with the iWAYS programme, Napier City Council, Bledislow School and it was the whole community - that is what New Zealand is about; everyone getting together and doing things for the good outcome for the whole of the community," Mr Dalston said.
He believed it means that young children can go and get "confidence and competence riding round a track in absolute safety so that when they end up on the road that they are not a danger to others and not a danger to themselves".
It will also be used by Fairhaven School.