Students swap helmets for spanners

Year 8 student Lleyton Browne, 13, shows Redland City Mayor Karen Williams his newly painted bike handle.

Year 8 student Lleyton Browne, 13, shows Redland City Mayor Karen Williams his newly painted bike handle.

Not many teenagers can boast being able to build their own bike as well as ride it.

Six students from Victoria Point State High School have become the latest students to do just that thanks to charity Traction, run from Shed 27 in Capalaba.

Traction is a charity that mentors young people through bike building – restoring rusty old donated bikes into glorious new ones, painted and finished to accommodate the individual student’s taste.

Taking one day out of their school week for a term, the boys have learned how to break down a bike, sand back its metal frame, degrease and reoil the chain, remobilise the paddles and finally how to spray paint it their favourite colour. Not to mention the project management and interpersonal skills they gain from working shoulder-to-shoulder with mentoring adults.

Traction has been running for one year in the Redlands and has already assisted students from Victoria Point State High School, Capalaba State College and Hemmant Flexible Learning Centre in Brisbane.

Traction founder Sandy Murdoch is hoping to connect with more schools and assist young people desiring to learn some skills outside of the classroom. Sandy can be contacted on sandy@traction.community

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