Sydney students displaced by flood get new 'brain bikes' in classroom

Students forced from their school by the Thanksgiving Day flood have received a gift in their new school - stationary bikes they can hop on anytime to unwind and recharge.

Lost everything, including bikes, when school was flooded on Thanksgiving Day

New Sparks Fly Brain Bikes were delivered to the Brookland Elementary grade five class Tuesday. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

Students forced from their school in Sydney after the flood have gotten a surprise stress relief.

The Grade 5 class from Brookland Elementary used to have Sparks Fly Brain Bikes in their class. They were stationary bikes students could hop on to unwind and recharge — but they were destroyed in the storm.

Jaws dropped and students squealed and clapped as a brand new set of bikes were wheeled into their temporary home at Shipyard Elementary School on Tuesday.

'Just super happy'

Shouts of "there's three" could be heard amidst the clapping.

"I was just super happy. I was so excited I was about to scream," student Matthew Shimon said. "These bikes, they help you think ... they take off stress if you're having a bad day."

Another student, Jaxon MacDonald, said the delivery surprised him "because they were lost in the flood when the flood happened in Brookland."

Run for Life steps in

Students said they are excited to have something familiar in their new surroundings. Student Maria Brann hopped on a bike as soon as she could. 

"It makes me feel a lot better better because the bikes are something we went on everyday," she said.

Jaxon MacDonald was happy to see the bikes back in the classroom. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

Luke MacDonald volunteers with Run for Life, the non-profit that distributes the bikes to schools across the country. 

When he heard about the flood, he knew what he had to do. 

"If ever there was a time when Brookland needs some bikes it's right now when the whole environment is completely different," he said.

Emotional day

Teacher Neeta Kumar-Britten said watching the students react was really emotional.

"It was pretty hard to hold back tears because those bikes were something that were a big part of our day," she said.

It's a moment these students won't soon forget.

"I was really excited that they were here and everyone was cheering and clapping," Brann said. "It was fun."

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Norma Jean MacPhee


From people around the corner to those around the world, Norma Jean MacPhee has more than a decade of experience telling their stories on the radio, TV and online. Reach Norma Jean at