It’s the simple act of going for a bike ride, but a new PCYC program is set to have a significant impact on Penrith youths, thanks to the help of a community grant.
The bike program, run by police attached to the Youth and Crime Prevention Command, will teach kids about bike mechanics and safety, through to the planning of trail rides and expeditions.
Senior Constable Annie Knight said the program was also a way of building relationships with youth and youth at risk within the Penrith area.
“The bikes will be utilised with the youth at risk in the area and they will be incorporated into our case management at PCYC, as well as to help police programs to reduce crime by and against young kids,” she said.
“Bike riding is an integral part of getting that connection with youth and it also provides them with direction, team work and the feeling of being a part of something.”
Recently receiving a $10,000 grant from Penrith’s CUA branch, Constable Knight said that it would help get the program running.
“We had Treck Bikes donate some bikes and a bike rack, [and now] this grant has opened us up to access so many more kids,” she said.
Presenting the grant, CUA Penrith Local Area Manager Flora Guarascio said the applications submitted highlighted the great work being done by not-for-profit and community organisations in Penrith.
“All of the applications had their values and had something good that they wanted to achieve,” she said.
But with her son growing up around bikes, Ms Guarascio said she understood the power they had in bringing kids together and providing a positive output for the community.
“It gives them an interest, something that all the other kids can talk about to each other and it allows them to be a part of something, and that’s what I liked about it,” she said.
Hoping to purchase the bikes in June, the program will then officially start as part of the PCYC’s Term 3 program, which is just around the corner.
“We had the renovations last year and I think the club has just had so much attention and it keeps getting bigger and bigger, so it’s nice to be part of it growing,” Senior Constable Knight said.
Lauren Suttie is the Weekender’s General & Community News journalist.