Five years ago, Josh had the idea to start the initiative so children could experience the same joy of riding he had as a child.
“I always had a real love of riding my bike - the escapism, freedom, exhilaration, challenge and sense of achievement along with the pure fun of being out on my bike and having something I could cherish and make my pride possession, riding with friends or on my own,” said Josh.
“This has distilled a lifelong passion of biking for me, and now I’m in a position where I can personally give back to the Waikato region and donate some new bikes to children, and make Giveabike an annual event.”
Last year Giveabike was launched with 40 bikes presented to children in the North Waikato district, and this year with the help of Sport Waikato’s Project Energize team, Hamilton schools were on the list to receive the generous donation.
Josh Kersten with bike recipient Jordan Wilkinson from Knighton School.
The children were chosen by the school principals in consultation with teachers, for a variety of reasons and the bikes were extremely welcomed by the excited students.
Over two days, Josh and Emma along with members of the Sport Waikato team delivered the bikes to more than ten schools, surprising children across Hamilton with an early Christmas present. Parents and caregivers were invited to come along to the presentations.
Josh Kersten with Sport Waikato staff members Kelly Armistead and Melissa Shea at Deanwell School with parents/caregivers of recipients Kaydin Turnbull, Te Kanawa Timoko-De Flippi, Danielle Hirawani and Kataraina Timoko-De Flippi.
In 2019, the Giveabike initiative plans to move on to another district within the Waikato region, giving away another donation of bikes to worthy children.