Two years ago

Pearks hosts bike program for kids with disabilities

Kids with special needs will have the chance to learn how to ride a bike, thanks to the iCan Ride program being brought to Victoria.

Kids with special needs will have the chance to learn how to ride a bike, thanks to the iCan Ride program being brought to Victoria.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island are sponsoring the five-day camp that uses a specialized bike for kids with cognitive or mobility impairments. The camp runs from July 8 to 12 at Pearkes arena in Saanich and will offer bike training to about 40 kids.

The specialized bike has a roller for a back wheel to provide stability, and which is gradually reduced in width as the child gains balance and confidence. iCan Bike says the vast majority of people with autism or Down syndrome won’t learn to independently ride a two wheeled bike, which is the driving motivation behind the organization.

The Children’s Health Foundation has donated $13,000 toward the camp, and is fundraising to bring the camp back to Victoria next year. Widespread in the U.S., Victoria is the only Canadian location outside of Ontario offering the program.

To donate toward iCan Bike, see childrenshealthvi.org.

For more information on the camp, e-mail jade.simpson@viha.ca or see icanshine.org/victoria-bc.

editor@saanichnews.com