Lakeview students learn about bike safety and receive free helmets

UCCM Anishnaabe Police Community Services Officer Murray Still and Brian Patterson, president and CEO of the Ontario Safety League and branch commission of the York Region St. John Ambulance, pose with Lakeview School students Cohen, age 5, Rhylie, age 6, and Angel, age 4, at a community event held at the school where the students received new bike helmets.

M’CHIGEENG—A partnership between the Ontario Safety League, St. John Ambulance, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), UCCM Anishnaabe Police and Lakeview School saw elementary students at Lakeview School receive free bike helmets last Tuesday, while learning about bike safety. Helmets were also distributed at the Whitefish River First Nation Powwow, with a total of 135 helmets handed out to area youths.

“It was identified that the usage of helmets on the Island was really low,” said Brian Patterson, president and CEO of the Ontario Safety League and branch commissioner of the York Region St. John Ambulance. “Last year we handed out 750 helmets on the Island, as well as 90 bikes. This year we have handed out an additional 135 helmets—the MTO is a big supporter of this safety initiative.”

“We are quite fortunate to receive these helmets and bike safety instruction,” said M’Chigeeng First Nation Director of Education and Lakeview School acting principal Robert Beaudin. “This is a collaboration of a lot of different parties—it’s wonderful to see everyone working together towards the safety of our youth.”

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Grade 7 and 8 students at Lakeview also received first aid training as part of the event at Lakeview School.

Biish, age 7, and Caleb, age 8, show off their new helmets.
photos by Robin Burridge

“Cycling is such a great way to get around, stay fit and have fun,” said the Honorable Steven De Duca, Minister of Transportation, and Eleanor McMaho, Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport, in a press release. “On behalf of the MTO, I’d like to thank the Ontario Safety League and everyone here today for recognizing the importance of safe cycling, especially the need to wear a helmet. Whether you’re a child just learning to ride your first bike or an adult who’s been cycling your whole life—today’s event is a great reminder to always keep safety in mind.”