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Pump track hitting mark


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Round and round children keep going on South End School’s new pump track.

Since opening last Tuesday, the track has been a hit, principal Clare Crawford said.

After school crowds have “flocked in” to use the track.

About this time last year, the school received a grant from the One Foundation, the majority of which was used to construct the track.

“It’s not just for our school, it’s for the community to get kids physically active,” Crawford said.

“It is open to all as long as they respect our property.”

The track can be used for bikes, scooters or just to run on.

Parent Tom Conwell led the project.

Another parent who helped with the track, Leo Klafke, said it was hard work but definitely worth it.

Any time of the day you can see a group of children out on the track, improving their skills, getting fit and having fun, he said.

“It’s a really nice reward.”

Rimu teacher Rebekah Mehrtens said there were many hours put in to get the track fit for purpose.

She said it took a long time for Conwell and his co-workers to get the lumps, shapes and angles right.

They would pack the dirt and test it themselves. Only after they got it right did they lay asphalt.

“Now it’s just used all the time.”

She said the pupils were showing great responsibility for each other.

There are not really any rules, so the kids negotiate with each other, for instance if someone is going the wrong way.

She said it was based on the school rules – respect, resourcefulness and resilience.

“It’s amazing to just watch them,” Mehrtens said.

The pump track is part of an initiative for the back of the school, with an outdoor classroom, food forest, chicken run and more to come.

“There are all sorts of exciting things happening,” Mehrtens said.

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