Bourke Street Public School Ride-a-thon Prize Giving

(9am, Thursday 9 May 2013, Bourke Street Public School)

Thank you, Peter [Johnstone], and hello, everyone. It's lovely to see you all again. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

What a fantastic job you all did - students, parents and teachers - in the Ride-a-Thon you held last month. Out of 188 students enrolled, 108 rode bikes and scooters in the event, which is a fantastic response.

When I last heard, not all the takings had been counted, but it was thought you'd raised close to $3,500 to fund the new bike racks at the front. That's an awful lot of pedal power, so good on all of you!

Some of you rode a course in the school grounds, and others did laps at Wimbo Park, and a lot of parents gave their time to supervise - and I'm sure it was a great day for everyone.

Cycling is becoming such an important part of our life in Sydney: it's cheap, it's healthy exercise, it cuts down on pollution, noise and traffic congestion, and it helps make our city a more sustainable place.

That's why we created the bike lanes like the one outside your school. When our network is finished, it will be easier and safer than ever to get around Sydney by bicycle, and even more people will be choosing to ride their bikes to school or to work, or just to get around to see their friends.

So it's good that you are acquiring cycling skills early. It will make you better and safer and more confident cyclists for the future.

The City of Sydney was happy to give a matching grant to help support your Ride-a-Thon.

I hope it will become a regular feature of your school year. It's a terrific activity for a school where over one-third of the students ride on a regular basis, and that's well above the State average.

Bourke Street has such a wonderful history of achievements, and you have now notched up one more.

Congratulations to everyone who helped organise or participate in this imaginative event. Well done!