Much like surfing in Jamaica, BMX (bicycle motocross) is a sport that is slowly becoming a hit among the young people of Jamaica. Far from the white sand beaches of Jamaica, BMX began in the 1970s when young cyclists in the United States appropriated motocross tracks for their own use for wild stunts and races. The sport continued to rise in popularity in the states over the years, and now, BMX is taking hold in Jamaica.
While Jamaica is known around the world among mountain biking enthusiasts for its highland terrain, it wasn’t until 2012 that BMX came to the island as an initiative of Jonathan Gosse and the Oracabessa Foundation. Gosse, Executive Director of the Oracabessa Foundation, saw an opportunity to bring the sport to Jacks River, St. Mary, Jamaica by way of a grant from the USA Cycling Foundation and the Sports Development Foundation. The fund helped bring The Eden Park BMX Track to life, the very first of its kind in the English Speaking Caribbean.
“We created a curriculum with the PI. It’s a six-level program with six lessons in each level. Each cycling level is paired with a life skill lesson. In level one, the children learn about cycling, but they also learn about courage. Level two speaks about friendliness. Level three is about caring and kindness, level four is centered around respect. In level five we speak about responsibility, and finally, level six is focused on love and forgiveness.” – Jonathan Gosse
Nearly four years later, The Eden Park BMX Track has made a huge difference in the lives of more than 200 children from five schools in St.Mary, Jamaica with the implementation of its “Two Wheels, One Love” program. The TWOL program (funded by the Fetzer Institute and the Digicel Foundation) aims to teach children how to safely ride a bicycle, as well as instilling the values of cooperation, communication, love and forgiveness through BMX. During a recent trip to the racetrack, Outpostings observed an afternoon TWOL class. The children were eager to throw on their safety gear and ride around the racetrack. They were equally as enthusiastic about the time they spent discussing topics such as responsibility and accountability.
Here’s an inside look into the Two Wheels, One Love program:
School children preparing for an afternoon ride around The Eden Park BMX Track.
Students line up as they listen to Head Coach Sanchez speaks about safety instructions before mounting bikes
Students listen to Coach Tashaun as they talk about responsibilities in their communities.
Coach Tashaun says the children at Two Wheels, One Love are fearless.
To learn more about the Two Wheels, One Love program, visit:
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