Saturday, April 13, 2024

Christchurch rangers jump to support young riders

Christchurch City Council rangers are supporting a group of children living next to the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor to build and maintain a small jump track in the regeneration area.

The rangers have marked out a section of red-zoned land in Dallington, and provided wood and gravelly soil for the kids to then use and shape their own jumps and maintain their earthy works of art.

Community partnerships ranger, Sarah Mankelow says the initiative came about after the maintenance team discovered an original small jump line when they inadvertently mowed over it.

“The next time staff came by there was a sign from saying ‘please don’t wreck our jumps’, so we wrote on a reply on the sign to say we were keen to meet with them to talk about what we could do together,” she said.

“At that meeting we came to an arrangement where the Council provides the materials, while the children look after the labour and the jump testing… and there’s lots of testing!”

A core group of about eight local boys are involved and have already spent hours building and testing their line, which so far consists of a roller, a small double, a short tabletop and a berm.

Brothers, Caiden and Karn say they have already noticed their bike skills have improved.

“We come down here most mornings for a quick ride, and it’s been good to help get our jumping skills up,” says Caiden.

“The next thing we want to build is another berm.”

Ms Mankelow says if the boys want to build a particular jump or feature in the future, the rangers will happily lend a hand to ensure it’s built safely.

“This project is being completely led by the children, who realistically don’t get many chances to have their voices heard and to shape their parks to the way they want to use them.

“It’s great to stand back and see how they work together to decide what jumps to put where. It might only look like a small track, but the creative process and the negotiations between each other are cool to see.”

“It’s a win-win situation for everyone – the kids have a place they can improve their riding and jump-building skills. By giving them the materials and some help when needed, we can ensure that the jumps are built safely, without negatively affecting patches of native flora and fauna in the OARC.”

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