It’s hard to tell whether the smiles or eyes were bigger on kids at Kwikwetlem First Nation last Tuesday when they collected shiny new bikes to put through their paces at a special rodeo put on by Coquitlam RCMP.
It was definitely the former when they were informed the bikes were theirs to keep.
Const. Rob Sierakowski, an officer with the Youth Division, said the first time event is a way to build bridges between police and young people in the Kwikwetlem First Nation.
“It’s about making a good impression,” he said, adding that encounter might even inspire one or two to eventually pursue a career in policing.
E Division’s Indigenous Policing Services Unit teamed up with ICBC to provide 21 bikes, five sets of training wheels and new helmets for everyone. The bikes were pre-matched to the kids, so they fit properly.
The event started with a parade led by two members of the RCMP’s motorcycle unit, included an obstacle course that allowed the kids to test their skills and safety practices, and concluded with an awards ceremony and treats.
Sierakowski said a bike can be a good tool to help kids bond with each other and their community.
“It’s a social thing,” he said. “They do everything on their bike.”