Discarded bicycles find new life with Henderson youth

Discarded bicycles find new life with Henderson youth
Ms Nur Elfizah Rohaizat (front row, with yellow helmet), a youth leader from the Henderson Bikers, with members of the cycling club. The project aims to keep the youngsters engaged meaningfully in their free time.

SINGAPORE - But the 60 or so bicycles - including a few with brand names such as Trek and Polygon - that were collected from two condominiums in Sentosa have instead been given a new lease of life, and will now be used in a cycling programme for young people in Henderson.

The community project was started by the Bukit Merah West Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) last August, after its officers chanced upon more than 50 unwanted bicycles at The Oceanfront residences, left behind by former residents. While the bicycles were headed for the dumpster, the NPC sought the help of the condominium to get them donated instead.

Help to inspect and restore the bicycles to a road-worthy condition was enlisted from social enterprise The Cycling Initiative and bike shop Scootz.

Officers from the Bukit Merah West NPC also personally donated around $260 to buy replacement parts for the bicycles. Another 10 bikes were donated by a second condominium in Sentosa, Seascape, and similarly refurbished.

Yesterday, the bicycles - estimated to be worth $4,000 - were presented to the Henderson Bikers, a newly formed cycling club led by the Henderson Crescent Residents' Committee. Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah, who is a Tanjong Pagar GRC MP, attended the event.

Bukit Merah West NPC commanding officer Aaron Gan said: "We really hope the bicycles will benefit the kids and (keep them) engaged meaningfully in their free time, so they won't be influenced by bad company."

Residents' Committee chairman Pahurudeen Naina Mohamed, 55, said the club plans to hold monthly events, and teach the young people how to maintain the bicycles and inculcate safe riding habits.

In time, he hopes the club's members will also partner the neighbourhood police in taking part in community patrols.

The Henderson Bikers will target young people aged between seven and 18, and for now has already recruited some 35 members.

Ms Nur Elfizah Rohaizat, 19, one of the club's leaders, said: "I'm happy and proud. I have always wanted a bike."

This article was first published on January 04, 2015.
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