Parent helpers to meet mountain bike track supervision demand

Paul Carron

Since constructing our on-site mountain bike (mtb) track a few months ago, the only issue with it has been providing enough supervision to meet the demand for use from the students. It's a pretty good problem to have as the kids are so excited to use the track, but it was becoming difficult from a time point of view to meet this demand. The solution has been to reach out to our parents to help reduce the time pressure for supervision on myself and other teachers. The process of setting this up has been a little time consuming but I'm confident it will pay dividends in the long run. Our plan at this stage is as follows.

1. Recruit parent helpers - This has been done through a google form that has been sent out to all parents via connect and the school's facebook page.

2. Set up a track opening schedule - As we want 2 parents to be present at each session to help with any liability issues and make the parents more comfortable that they will have a buddy their to run sessions with it, it is twice as difficult to lock down a session time as we need 2 parents who can be available at the same time. We are hoping for a bit of flexibility here from the parent helpers.

3. Set up a WhatsApp group for communication - We will set up a WhatsApp group with both parent helpers and the parents of students who have given permission for their kids to ride track at these parent run sessions so that if any sessions need to be cancelled this can be easily communicated with everybody who needs to know. This system has worked well in the past for similar active transport initiatives requiring parent helpers such as the walking school bus.

4. Let her rip - Hopefully once it is all set up it will more or less manage itself. Every now and then we may need to rearrange the schedule a bit as parent helpers come and go but it will certainly increase the amount of time we are able to open the track for resulting in less time pressure on staff and happier, more frequently mountain biking kids

This story is related to Volunteer power (2)

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James (Your Move)

This looks like a really well thought out strategy for making the most of your skills track with the help of parent volunteers. You have earned 65 points for taking this approach and another 20 point for sharing so many details of how you are going about it. Please keep us updated with how it all goes 😊!

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