Nine13sports Growing With 'Kids Building Bikes'

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Hanley says 2017 will finish with the organization's highest participation yet. Hanley says 2017 will finish with the organization's highest participation yet.

An Indianapolis-based nonprofit focused on children's health and wellness through riding bicycles is diversifying its programming. Nine13sports will launch Kids Building Bikes next summer, a four-week program that teaches bike safety and maintenance where participants who complete it will ride away on a new bike. The program is geared toward fourth and fifth-graders and will be primarily after school.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chief Executive Officer Tom Hanley said the program goes beyond health and wellness. "There are organizations across the country that get kids working with bikes in a bike shop-type environment, including one right here in central Indiana. There's nobody really taking it on the road and having the end result be a student walking away with a brand-new bicycle." Hanley said. "We're really blazing the path in a totally new way with this new program just as we have done over the past six years."

Just like the current Kids Riding Bikes program, Hanley says the Kids Building Bikes program will meet kids where they are -- at schools and in their local neighborhoods. Hanley describes Kids Building Bikes as a "smaller, more boutique effort," estimating it will likely get 300-500 bikes in the community within the first year. He says the organization will be investing in new equipment, which includes a large trailer, and adding four to its existing eight-member staff.

Kids Building Bikes, Hanley says, is the answer to a question often asked by adults whose kids or students are involved in Kids Riding Bikes: what's next? "What do we do when we get kids excited about two wheels, knowing that most of the students we're serving don't have access to a bicycle at home and don't have the resources to do so?" He says the new program will show students how to work with tools and how to ride and they'll receive their own bike, helmet and lock.

Last year, the organization tallied around 10,000 youth interactions and its expects this year to total about 30,000.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chief Executive Officer Tom Hanley said the program goes beyond health and wellness.
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