In one week Islanders will have the opportunity to learn and become a certified Sprockids Leader for free through a Master Course Conductor, Ed Ripmeester.
This is a rare opportunity and the first time a Sprockids training session will be held on P.E.I.
"The impetus for this training is for the youth of our Island" says Ken Trenholm, President of Cycling P.E.I., the organizer for this event.
"Sprockids provides more than bicycling skills but increases a youth's self-esteem, time management, and anger management to name a few."
Youth cycling is not new to P.E.I. however.
Trenholm highlights P.E.I. has a youth mountain bike club called Rigid Riders that is based at Brookvale and rides on Tuesdays nights. Trenholm explains as Sprockids is a program geared toward the 9 to 12 year olds, Sprockids provides an excellent transition to the Rigid Riders youth cycling club that caters to the 12 years and up crowd.
"Providing a developmental youth approach that is fun and safe for kids is the key. . . the 'buy-in' to the program is grounded in a strong foundation of research and experience: kids want to have fun and parents want their kids to play safe."
At the core of two day weekend on June 10 and 11 will be Ed Ripmeester, the Master Course Conductor. Ripmeester started bicycling as a kid but did not do much cycling until his retirement in 1998. Bicycling through the pathways and streets of Ottawa quickly became a daily fitness routine for Ripmeester, logging about 3000 km that summer.
After taking a Can-Bike course in the fall of ?98 to improve his confidence and skills in dealing with city traffic, he became a Can-Bike instructor teaching adults and kids safe cycling.
In 2002, Ripmeester's reputation as a skilled and enthusiastic cycling trainer continued to grow as he was invited by the Canadian Cycling Association to be part of the team to adapt Doug Detwiller?s Sprockids program to become the CCA?s National Introduction to Cycling Program.
Today, Ripmeester lives in the country in Calabogie, Ontario, and continues to spend his summer months mountain biking through the miles of trails in the area when he is not on the road teaching the future leaders.
As for the interest in this training, "Islanders are responding" says Trenholm.
Trenholm comments at the time of release that 8 individuals have registered for the training.
Trenholm explains his goal is to fill the classroom with Sprockids would-be Leaders and have a Sprockids program in any community on P.E.I. that wishes to have it.
"The first step," adds Trenholm, "is to take the training. Only those people who take the training will be certified to run a sprockids program."
For those who register before June 7, the training is free; registeration after June 7 the cost is $30. The training takes place in Summerside on June 10 and 11th. For more information or to register, visit www.cpei.ca or call Ken Trenholm at 902-888-3878 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.