Pedal for autism

Leisure Networks' Tori Honner, left, Benefit Geelong's Mark Edmonds, Geelong Cycling Club's Kris Hink, Leisure Networks' Clinton Meehan, Benefit Geelong's Mark Cunnenn and Power 2 Pedal program participant Darcy Collins. (Supplied)

A Geelong program will continue to help children with autism and their families gain confidence in bike riding.

Leisure Networks’ Power 2 Pedal program provides children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) a chance to learn how to ride a bike safely.

Program coordinator Tori Honner said the program would conduct close to 20 cycling sessions across Term 4 of 2024 and Term 1 of 2025.

“We all deserve to experience good health and happiness. We know that sport is so good for us, yet people with disabilities don’t have the same opportunities to get involved,” she said.

First held in 2019, the program will expand its opportunities to promote fun and accessibility in sports for all Victorians, including those with disabilities, with support from Benefit Geelong.

Benefit Geelong’s Mark Cunneen said the program helped foster a social network for families and people living with disabilities.

“We are thrilled to support this program to enable young people to have the freedom of riding a bike,” he said.

“It’s such a simple and powerful thing, and we are really looking forward to seeing it continue in our region.”

Geelong Cycling Club president Kris Hink said the club would continue to support the program as it significantly impacted many families’ lives.

“It is great to support and be able to connect to other forms of cycling in the community,” he said.

“Since our initial support in 2019 of Power 2 Pedal, it’s great to see it back in Geelong and around our club.”

The cycling sessions will take place at the Geelong Cycling Club’s Belmont track for 45 minutes, with dates and times still to be confirmed.