May, • 2023 31
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Project Al Colegio en Bici, a Colombian initiative

Project Al Colegio en Bici, a Colombian initiative

Challenge Day is the world largest campaign to encourage the regular practice of physical activity and development of sport for all. Every year more people take part in Brazil and in Latin America. In Mexico, for example, in 2015, only three cities signed up and nearly 300,000 people have accepted the challenge. The following year, 335 were registered cities and nearly 3.4 million people attended.

Our neighbors Colombians are also engaged. In 2015, 131 cities participated, with nearly 4.2 million people. Last year, the number of cities included practically doubled (245) and about 2 million citizens engaged in this cause. Over there, the practice of physical activity is not restricted only to the last Wednesday of May. Cycling, for example, is a common habit in Colombian cities, either in the countryside or in the capital, Bogota, children and adults are always biking.

Since the year 2013, the Recreation District y Deporte Institute (IDRD) started a partnership with the Department of Education of Bogotá to launch a project to encourage the use of bike as means of transport for the children go to school. The program is Al Colegio en Bici -School by bike, in English. The idea arose from the Subdirección Técnica de Recreación y Deporte do IDRD, and aims to bring the culture of bike to the school environment, empowering teachers and educators to give support to children.

Students living at distances between one to three kilometers are selected to win a bike, making safe routes and accompanied by caravans. “It’s a project of life,” says Oscar Ruiz Brochero, head of the IDRD Recreation Area. Another proof that the bike is part of their routine was the creation of a bicycle path on Sunday, in the capital, with 121 kilometers, attending over one and half million people. In addition to this space, the city still has more than 5.000 parks available to ride.

Actions such as Al Colegio in Bici make the challenge happens every day in an enjoyable way.