Vancouver Foundation

Fall 2013

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BC Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program BY DONNA BARKER | PHOTOS PAUL LUCAS Building ram and commun A new bike park for the Boothroyd local kids to do much more than g It's 8:30 on a Saturday morning in July, just a few Charles Johnny (above) and Eagle Williams (here) helped plan and build a mountain bike park for their community. kilometres north of Boston Bar. The day is clear and promises to be a scorcher. In a dirt pit just a stone's throw from the Boothroyd Indian Band office, five men stand among shovels, saws, hammers, nails and a truckload of two-by-fours. Patrick Lucas, one of the five BC Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program volunteers, watches a child ride by on a path above them. The child disappears into the trees. Then another, and another. Lucas and his colleagues are concerned – not about the safety of these young riders – but that he and his fellow volunteers will be left to work alone in the sandpit, building a mountain bike park that the youth of the Boothroyd Indian Band have helped design. "Next thing you know, there are a dozen kids riding around, circling us like sharks. And then they all swarmed down, a great ball of energy whipping around us, grabbing shovels, hammers, wood, saws," says Lucas. "These kids were unstoppable. They worked two full days and ran us ragged. They were just so happy to be building the bike park that they'd all contributed to envisioning for their community." Jerome Campbell, age 12, attended every planning meeting, saying he "went for fun. To watch how the older people do it." The fact was that the "older people" needed young people like Jerome and his cousin Damon, who also attended the meetings, since this mountain bike park is for them, and much of its success lies in the kids being included in its design and construction. "They showed us pictures of other parks and we told them what we wanted, like a pump track," says Jerome. "You can race your friends on it. It's fun. And it was fun to help build the park. There's a real reward in building what we helped think up." Brandon Johnny (right centre), Bruce Williams (second from right) and Patrick Lucas (far right). p14-15 Boothroyd BMX.indd 14 13-10-11 1:32 PM

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