Imagine having never ridden a bike before to then completing a 50km ride halfway around the bay? Well that’s what many students from Montague Continuing Education Centre (C.E.C) achieved yesterday – and what an incredibly rewarding experience it was to be a part of!

Montague C.E.C provides students who have learning difficulties, with opportunities to bring out their talent, skills and abilities. The school runs a fantastic Duke of Ed program where the Award has been embedded in to the school’s culture and students are enthusiastic and passionate about the program.

Completing the 50km Around the Bay ride was the pinnacle experience of their cycling journey through the Duke of Ed. It was an achievement that required a great deal of endurance, determination and not to mention months of training! It was great to join in on the action and ride with the students from Alexander Gardens – over the Westgate Bridge – to the beach in Altona – and back again!

In the lead up to the event, the students had been busy training every single week cycling along the track from Port Melbourne to Brighton. The hours they spent riding were counted towards the Physical Rec Section of their Award. Each ride they would set a goal of extending their distance and keep track of timing and pacing themselves.

Through the Skill Section of their Duke of Ed, the students practiced bike maintenance activities including: changing a tyre, operating gears, fixing punctures and learning how to service different parts. The bike maintenance has been a great avenue to not only develop practical skills but also strengthening the student’s fine motor skills which is crucial to their development.

Principal of Montague, Geraldine Charles says:

“We have really seen the student’s confidence grow from when they first started their bike maintenance and riding to now. Some of these students have never ridden a bike before so at the start they were quite hesitant but it’s been amazing to see them strengthen their skills and become more confident. They have deep pride and satisfaction.”

It was so amazing to see the student’s hard work and perseverance pay off as they successfully conquered the 50km Around the Bay Schools Challenge yesterday. A big thanks to Geri for letting us join in on the fun, the Support Bus crew for your cheering and encouragement AND of course a big thank you and congrats to all the students involved – you should all be incredibly proud of your achievements!

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