Riding a mountain bike improves school attendance. Sound far fetched? Well, that is exactly the case in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Glide and Ride strives to positively impact children through off-road cycling, where the confidence and sheer joy gained from riding a bicycle flows into other areas of life.
‘We’re very hands on,’ says Ian Wilson of Glide and Ride.
‘My wife Derryn and I have found our niche in teaching kids as young as three years of age to ride a bike. Glide and Ride services all schools in the Greater Durban radius, be they privileged or underprivileged. We treat them all the same.’
The Mshwati School on KZN’s North Coast in particular is very close to Ian and Derryn’s hearts.
Mshwati is located in an area known for its poverty as well as its lacklustre school attendance. Enter Glide and Ride, who got involved at the school in 2017 on a purely voluntary basis.
‘While we are passionate about uplifting the community, we don’t believe in hand outs,’ says Ian.
‘No school means no cycling, end of story. We found that with this structure and discipline in place, school attendance improved dramatically when we first got involved in 2017.’
Well, from an average absenteeism of 300 in the first term to just 30 by year end.
‘Our policy might seem strict but the results speak for themselves. And Glide and Ride is not limited to cycling alone. When it is raining, we teach the learners about the local wildlife as well as first aid. We’re also upskilling coaches in other rural schools, which has the knock-on effect of job creation too.’
Want to get involved?
Contact Ian and Derryn
E: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
T: +2773 153 0986 +2778 345 3864
Photo credit: Keran Coetze