THE moment children and families have been waiting for is just around the corner – the opening of a £200,000 disabled-friendly cycle track.
We Cycle Too at Brooklands Pleasure Park, Worthing, has been created to allow children with disabilities to experience cycling, something many have never been able to do before.
The 450-metre specialist track is the first of its kind in the south, and can accommodate wheelchair-adapted bicycles, tandems and hand cycles.
Lyn Aaron-Ferrigno, who has been co-ordinating We Cycle Too, said: “Cycling can have enormous physical and emotional benefits and this facility will enable the children to fully take part in an activity which they can enjoy with their friends and family.
“My family has been down to the track and had a go, and it’s absolutely brilliant.
“There’s no other facility like We Play Too or We Cycle Too near here so they are incredibly popular with many people coming from far away.”
Before We Cycle Too, Lyn started the We Play Too campaign in 2008 to build a better playground so her son Alex, five, and disabled daughter Zoe, seven, could play together.
Her determination saw the We Play Too playground, also at Brooklands, open in 2009.
Lyn initially raised £1,000 towards the We Play Too project by holding a sponsored walk. Since then, she has secured £300,000 for the We Play Too schemes, and the project is now a registered charity.
The mum-of-two was inspired to develop the idea of We Cycle Too when she saw a cycling project in Hull.
Lyn applied for funding from Worthing Borough Council and Aiming High and received £200,000 for the not-for-profit project.
The money paid for the track, 10 bikes, two go-karts and 12 new disabled parking spaces near the facility. Each bike costs between £2,500 to £3,000 so Lyn and the We Cycle Too team are hoping to gain sponsorship so they can purchase more bikes.
We Cycle Too will be available for use by any disabled children, and will operate on a membership basis with hire fees for bikes.
Anyone is invited to see the new facility at the official opening of We Cycle Too on Sunday, June 26, between 1pm and 4pm.
Schools or organisations who provide services for disabled children and their families are invited to the try out the facility on Wednesday, June 29, between 10am and 4pm.