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BMX program in Jamaica aims to teach bicycle stunt riding and values

BMX program in Jamaica aims to teach bicycle stunt riding and values

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 19, 2015

Two hundred and fifty children at the primary school level in St. Mary, Jamaica will be impacted through sports with the innovative bicycle moto cross (BMX) ‘Two Wheels, One Love’ (TWOL) programme.

The programme is geared to take place over a 36-week period starting at the beginning of February. It will be rolled out to five primary schools surrounding the St. Mary-based Eden Garden BMX Park, which was recently resurfaced by the Digicel Jamaica Foundation.

TWOL is an initiative of the Oracabessa Foundation which aims to teach children the value of love and forgiveness in their daily and sporting lives.

The programme will be implemented as an extra-curricular activity in the Boscobel, Jacks River, Albion Mountain, Oracabessa and Free Hill Primaries, according to Jonathan Gosse, executive director of the Oracabessa Foundation.

“BMX in Jamaica is an absolutely clean slate; no one in Jamaica has participated in BMX competitively,” said Gosse. “This programme has been a long time coming and we are all excited to be here.”

Cycling remains the only sport outside of track and field in which Jamaica has ever won an Olympic medal, according to the Minister with Responsibility for Sports, the Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, “BMX is big stuff,” she said. “As a government we recognise the enormous power of sport as a tool for galvanizing communities, fostering peace, encouraging growth and prosperity for all Jamaicans.”

The Digicel Jamaica Foundation, also contributed a storage facility and work shop that will be used to repair bicycles and teach students how to repair their own bikes.

“We understand that the races that will be held at this track involving big name riders, such as Maliek Byndloss, will result in increased revenue that can be used for the maintenance of the track,” said Jean Lowrie-Chin, Chair of the Digicel Jamaica Foundation. “Since sustainability is one of the watch words of the Digicel Foundation, this is welcome news.”

Once the schools have completed the Two Wheels, One Love programme there will be a race series held at Eden Park to promote healthy competition in BMX. Eden Garden will also take centre stage in May when Maliek Byndloss will seek to earn qualifying points racing his bicycle at the St. Mary track on his road to representing Jamaica at the 2016 Olympics.

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