Hi everyone, thanks for reading this. I am writing this for Max Hofman who runs the Re-Cycle program at Young High School.
Max has developed an amazing in-school project building bikes with kids who want to ride but don’t own or can’t afford a bike. But beyond this – and more importantly – his workshop has become the hub for the school kids. A place for them to feel comfortable and at home, as well as learn, experiment and develop practical skills and friendships. For many kids, this is their haven and Max’s program is now being recognised as an inspiring way to integrate, teach and develop kids’ abilities and confidence – as well as bike skills.
This project is now expanding from his country town of Young across NSW and we want to help.
Max says “It’s been a big decade for the ReCyclers of Young! In 2020 (post-Covid), the ReCycle program co-ordinated the biggest sport allocation at Young High School, overtaking the rugby, netball and field sports codes as the no.1 sports pick @ YHS – the first time this has been achieved by a cycling group in the State."
Over the past decade, the program has developed from a disabilities-based program – in which we modified bicycles to be safe for adults to use by adding adult bike training wheels or towing systems, to a school-based program that recycles old bikes to make functional binary rollers for students who do not own their own bike.
The program has been inclusive of all riders and we have taught many students to ride from scratch in their teenage years; something that has been both immensely fulfilling as well as emotionally challenging at the same time. A comment from a student, "you’re teaching me what my dad never did" brought both Max's team to tears after one of our ReCycle students finally rode unassisted!
With the exponential growth of bike loving students, the amount of materials required has increased considerably. Re-Cycles bike fleet is now 400 strong and includes tandems, electric bikes, full carbon racers, stunt BMX’s and everything in between. They also have more than 100 bike frames that allow students to explore, develop and recreate bikes in a wonderful, continuous engineering experience.