27 November 2023, Balmain, Couva:

South Central District Scouts are better prepared after completing a cycling and road safety course.

The course was part of the organisation’s ‘South Scouts’ curriculum, and was hosted for six weeks at Skinner Park, San Fernando in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF). The programme was facilitated by TTCF Level II-certified coaches Marlon Bruce and Dickson Narine.

The 36 scouts—including first-time riders—participated from 7 October to 11 November.

Ready to show off their skills: South Central District Scouts take to the starting line at Skinner Park in San Fernando.

Coach Bruce is pleased with the improvements the youngsters showed.

“As with children, they’re always really competitive, and you see the energy levels increase as they want to keep going by becoming faster and being able to control their bikes,” he said.

The campers also learned road safety, riding in groups and identifying hazards. They practiced with a road simulation around the park. The course also featured learning basic bicycle mechanics, including identifying bike parts, care and maintenance, repairing a flat tyre and scrapping and reassembly to earn their badges and cycling certificates.

Lydia Meahjohn is among the happy parents. Her nine-year-old daughter, Sofia, participated, and Meahjohn is seeing improved social skills and teamwork.

“The benefit for me as a parent is the importance of their overall development as an individual. She met people outside of her ‘pack’ and had a lot of fun. It’s a good way to keep them active as they make friends while being physically engaged in sports.”

South Central District Scouts pose with their cycling certificates from the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) at Skinner Park, San Fernando.

ASJA Primary School student Mathai London, 8, clearly enjoyed the course.

“The camp was fun! I enjoyed riding around the park, learning how to go through the cones and taking corners without putting my foot down,” he said. Other key learning points for Mathai was improving his cycling skills, making new friends, learning to communicate with other cyclists and the importance of discipline and respect for authority.

SporTT is encouraging national governing bodies for sport (NGBs), clubs and organisations to create similar avenues for youth fitness and wellness and to encourage their passion as the first step of sport development.