Teens, first responders, and volunteers joined together on Apr. 27 at the Rural Living Expo and Trade Show in Barriere to build four bicycles in a team challenge environment that is now in its second year.
Expo manager, Jill Hayward, initially launched the challenge idea in 2013, and thanks to a grant for $500 from the 911 Golf Tournament, as well as two $100 donations, this first time event became a successful reality. So much so that it was held again this year, thanks again to a generous $500 grant from the 911 Golf Tournament, and financial support from Barriere Timber Mart.
“We once again purchased four BMX youth bikes and helmets,” said Hayward, “Then, with the help of our Expo team and volunteers from the RCMP, the fire department, a Simpcw First Nation Band Councillor, a volunteer from the crowd, and area youth, we ended up with a great event that was a fun and rewarding event for all concerned.”
Hayward said each team had four members which included two youth, at least one first responder and/or one other adult. Each team member had a specific job to complete (some under blindfolds), construction of the bicycles was timed and scrutinized by judges, and each bicycle had to be test ridden by a team member completing a short course outside. After the event, all of the bicycles, after being checked out, are to be awarded to youth within the area.
“We wanted the challenge to not only be about team building between youth and the community, but to benefit our youngsters as well,” said Hayward, “Organizers, team members, and spectators had a lot of fun with this event, there’s no reason why we can’t bring it back for a third year in 2015.”