Pink, red, blue, black, green…colours of the rainbow filled the Anna University grounds at Chennai’s first cyclathon recently. The event this year saw more than 21,000 participants eagerly awaiting their races slotted over a period of five hours and according to kilometres.
Organised by BSA Hercules, The Chennai Cyclathon was an attempt to inculcate the habit of cycling amongst children for a greener tomorrow. In keeping with providing a brighter future for the “Children of the World India” It promoted a healthy you, a healthy tomorrow with the message go green!
One interesting category was the race for kidsrace aged between five and 12 years of age. Though this was the only race which was not a competition it saw more than 600 children participating.
Vagul, LKG, PSBB and Sowmya, UKG, Sishya School were among the youngest participants in this category. In their small bicycles they wheeled into the entry line all eager to cycle and have fun.
Deepika, VI, and Rithik, II, from Bain School chose this event to ride the cycle out on the big grounds besides riding it in their apartments. Shreyas, II of Sishya School says “I always wanted to ride a cycle and though this is my first race at least I get to ride the cycle…”
Sashank, IV of Sri Shankara Senior Secondary School, and Niveda, XI of Cooperation Girls Higher Secondary School came to participate because they love cycling.
Not all were happy though. Lack of proper organisation and gaps in communication made it difficult for students like R. Natarajan to take part even though they were aware of the race. The counters saw several children walk away sulking, crying and disappointed as they were not allowed to register. Parents too complained of non- communication and the lack of appropriate information. But amidst all this chaos and litter on the campus there was an ocean of cyclists who made it despite everything to be a part for the larger cause.
Certificates and a helmet were given to all the registered participants. All said and done organisers could have taken extra care to ensure of the safety of children by blocking traffic. Parents complained of children having to ride in places which had no sealing on the Old Mahabalipuram Road. Traffic issues, lack of proper instruction to parents and children were some of the drawbacks this event saw but what it did manage to achieve was the huge number of participants it managed to get which in turn helped them make this programme a success!