2000 children in Almaty are trained cycling safety

04 Apr 2017

“Before I attended “Young cyclist’s school” I couldn’t ride a bicycle. I used to think that I never would. But during the project they taught me how to balance. They explained the rules for cyclists. Lots of kids in our school now have a new hobby in cycling,”says Christina Ryabova, 9th grade pupil, school №106.

Last year three Almaty schools and School Palace №5 turned into a platform for the implementation of teenagers’cycling safety programme developed by the UNDP-GEF "City of Almaty Sustainable Transport" project and "Saktau" Public Fund.  

“We wanted to involve more children who don’t live in the city center but on the outskirts. That is why we have chosen schools №106, 98 and 64. The children mostly live at a distance of 2-3 kilometers from the school. This is an acceptable distance for a bicycle. There is no cycling infrastructure, so we made an emphasis on teaching traffic rules,” said Alla Zinovieva, Almaty School palace №5 teacher.

From the beginning of April till the end of July, 2016 children aged 12-17 years were trained at the cycling school. And on the 1st September, 2016 kids got new bikes, safety equipment and repair kits bought by UNDP and GEF.

- Thanks to the “Young cyclist’s school” project we introduced cycling training into our summer schools programme. We attracted 7-9 years old children”, said Nino Sidorenko, School Palace №5 director.

In addition to the training process the project created space for the future cyclists. All schools participating in the programme were equipped with parking. Now children do not need to worry about the safety of their bikes. In addition, the Fund developed “10 simple steps, or how to learn to ride a bike” booklets in Kazakh and Russian languages, as well as the project implementation guidelines for schools’ additional classes.

Organizers believe that the participants’ interest in the project is the main indicator of the project’s relevance. The initiators offer to accept “Young cyclist’s school” educational programme as the basis for implementation in other schools and consider embedding it in PE lessons and traffic classes or additional classes for those wishing to learn.

As to Dmitry Goltsvert, the “Saktau” Public Fund president, now the fund is negotiating with potential sponsors and schools to implement the project on a regular basis. He also noted that in addition to the original goals and the expected results, they are ready to develop the project further, as they believe the participation of the three basic schools and the School Palace isn’t  enough.

After the completion of the pilot project the “Young cyclist’s school” received good feedback from its participants, who noted the prospects through the promotion of "green" transport and active mobility.

- We would like our children to take part in the project. We believe that such an initiative should be continued in other Almaty schools, - said Head of studies at school №33 Ayman Nurgozhanova.