An old shipping container, converted into an extreme sports hub, and set into the far corner of Everton Park, is getting local young people to ditch their Xbox and start cycling.
Director of Peloton, Danny Robinson, passionately believes that cycling can be a force for social good. He’s seen first-hand the transformative effect cycle culture can have on local people and communities.
Over the last few years, Peloton have worked with over 200 ex-offenders through South Liverpool Probation Service teaching bike maintenance and management skills. The BMX BOX project combines this work with efforts to development a positive youth culture in Everton Park.
Built and maintained by people in contact with the criminal justice system, the BMX BOX has offered young people a meaningful activity on the edges of the city centre. It’s helped support a developing BMX stunt culture and ensured young people have a place of safety and shelter to socialise.
For Danny and his team, the BMX BOX is a much needed a community resource that is offering young people the opportunity to meet others from across the city, and perhaps more importantly, other young people from their own area, without the peer pressure of local affiliation and gang loyalty.
The BMX BOX promotes community. A number of experienced riders mentor the young people and act as positive role models, perhaps the first some of the young people have had. They promote an ethos of camaraderie and are there to help the younger riders when they fall; something that they inevitably do. Peloton’s BMX BOX project offers a real alternative to being glued to the XBOX or PlayStation. It’s also a diversion from an all too pervasive gang culture in the area.
With BMX included now in the Olympics, these young people have national and even international role models to offer inspiration and emulate. Perhaps, one of the kids pictured above, one day, will even be riding BMX for Team GB in a future Olympics… with projects like Peloton and people like Danny this is at the very least, a possibility.