New bikes for kids from cycling doctor

updated By Jessica Tyson

Variety's Bike For Kids programme is gifting new bikes to schools in Māngere thanks to an Auckland doctor who raised money by cycling across Sri Lanka.

Selected students from Sutton Park, Southern Cross Campus and Māngere Central primaries received their new bikes in a very special school assembly.

Dr Helen Evans, who works at Starship Hospital, cycled 450km, raising over $13,000 for the Bikes For Kids programme.

She says, "I didn't think in a million years that I would have raised enough money for this amount of bikes to see so many Kiwi kids get bikes is just incredible!"

"I was forced into Bikes for Kids by my friend. I think it is a great programme because to some degree it is one of the thoughts luxuries in life if you are on a tight budget."

Bikes For Kids has so far helped provide 5000 bikes to school children. She says, "It is just one of those things you can't afford for your kids. But it gives the children freedom, independence, more physically active and I think it is a great programme."

She says, "As a childcare doctor, we want to promote the health of our children, and to see these kids, who otherwise wouldn't have bikes, cycling around... at this very moment, it's really rewarding for having to cycle for 460km in Sri Lanka."

By the smiles on their faces, it's no doubt the bike recipients are grateful for Dr Evans' efforts.