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A new scooter track is enhancing Clyde School giving pupils the perfect excuse to get away from their screens and head outdoors instead. Alexia Johnston finds out about a school, which is reminding pupils they do not need technology to have fun.

A new scooter track is enhancing Clyde School for the good of the pupils and wider community.

The scooter track, a 250m circuit, aimed to encourage more outdoor play and less time spent on devices.

Just weeks after its completion, the track was already proving a success, principal Doug White said.

schooltime and members of the community have been making the most of it during weekends.

“Children are on it every day,” he said.

Part of its success was the fact it was helping the school eliminate screen time.

The $42,000 track came on the back of similar projects established at other schools, including Alexandra Primary School. Due to their success, Mr White investigated the idea of creating something similar at Clyde School, with the aim of giving the pupils more area to play on during and outside of school hours.

Wheels in motion . . . Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan leads the way during a lap of Clyde School’s new scooter track.
The track was officially opened during a ceremony last week, and was also attended by former pupil and national BMX rider Holly Oldham (16, left). PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

With the help of Benchmark Construction, the track was designed so children of all skill levels could use it.

“After they did the Alexandra [Primary School] track they had some other ideas as well,” Mr White said, of the Benchmark team.

He said Benchmark took the design and made some “tweaks” to add more fun and challenging components to help children extend their skill-set.

“They bermed it up a wee bit and added some passing lanes.”

The track, which was officially opened last Friday, is now in regular use by children, who are pleased with the extension to their playground.

Daniel McDowell is one of them.

“I like it because we don’t always have to use the concrete anymore, over on the netball courts.”

Oiva Kiuru has been making use of the track on a regular basis, often putting his skills to the test.

“I like it because there’s lots of jumps,” he said.

Mr White said the track had given the children a safe environment to improve their control, balance, braking and body positioning. He said it was likely many of the youngsters would go on to do mountain biking in the future so the new track would help prepare them for when they ventured to some of Central Otago’s challenging mountain bike terrain.

Central Lakes Trust helped fund 40% of the project and the school covered the remainder.