Huge smiles, enthusiasm, and appreciation is what accompanies mountain bike sessions with Clontarf Foundation students from the Centralian Middle Academy. “I really enjoyed mountain biking with Georgie because it showed my true self, and also made me feel great mentally and physically,” said Tarynt Stubbs, a Year 7 Clontarf member. According to the Clontarf Foundation Director, Tom Clements, mountain biking “is such a popular activity that we use it as an incentive for attendance and good behaviour.”
Georgina Landy, the AusCycling Participation Coordinator for Alice Springs, has been coordinating and leading mountain bike sessions with the students for the last six months. Georgina says that the sessions are informal and that “it’s really about creating space for the boys to move their bodies, connect with nature, themselves and others, and to experience the joy of riding out bush. They feel the euphoria of overcoming obstacles on the trails and contribute to meaningful conversations that evolve organically out there”.
A fleet of ten mountain bikes and helmets that were purchased thanks to Northern Territory Government funding, has enabled groups like the Clontarf Foundation to access the activity of mountain biking.
The students progressed their mountain bike experience for the first time this year to participate in the Alice Springs Mountain Bike Inter-School event. Six students put in their best effort to ride one or two laps of the course and were in awe of the fastest student in town, Tom Stockwell. With mouths wide open as they watched him ride, they cried, “he just floated over the sand!”
AusCycling and the Clontarf Foundation look forward to continuing to ride together and progressing the students’ interest, learning, and engagement in mountain biking in Alice Springs.