There was no shortage of smiling faces after 50 kids received brand-new bicycles in Rankin Inlet this past week courtesy of the hamlet.
Rankin recreation co-ordinator David Clark said the hamlet wanted to do something to brighten the kids’ days a bit, with so many activities being cancelled that usually would have been held in connection with Pakallak Tyme.
He said the cancelling of activities and the constant practising of social distancing has been hard on everyone during the past few months, with the younger set of the community being particularly hard hit by not being able to spend much time playing with their friends.
“We thought it would be a great thing to do to help out a bit, you know, so the hamlet went ahead and bought a bunch of bikes to give away to some of the youth in our community,” said Clark.
“We didn’t really have a plan on how we were going to do this or anything, so I just got it done.
“We probably would have held a draw during Pakallak Tyme or at the start of the fishing derby – anytime we would have had a big gathering – but with no big gatherings being allowed yet, I had to get a bit creative.”
The hamlet managed to come up with new bikes to put a smile on the faces of 50 lucky youths in the community.
Clark said the bicycles were available to be won by kids aged five to 10 who had their names pulled in a draw held at Rankin’s new arena this past Thursday, May 14.
“If I’m able to find more available funding, the hamlet wants to do this type of thing more-and-more often as we move forward because we want to help keep our kids active and give them something to do.
“Having kids out riding around on their bicycles while maintaining social distancing is one way we can do that.
“As long as all the restrictions remain in place due to this Covid-19 pandemic, the hamlet will continue to look at creative ways for it to be able to do what it can to keep our youth as active as possible.
“I think it’s important we try to give the youth in our community a positive outlook on things, at least as much as we can, and, for a little kid, winning a brand-new bike is a pretty big deal.”
Clark said in awarding the bicycles, the hamlet set up things similar to what one might expect to see at a penny sale.
He said the 50 bikes all stood shining in a straight line, with bags placed on the handlebars for each child to have one of their three free tickets deposited in.
“One of their three tickets was placed in the bag of a bike they hoped to win during the draw,” explained Clark.
“Just in case someone was having a really, really lucky day, no kid was allowed to win more than one bike.
“We were practising social distancing throughout the whole process, so we had the parents come in one door and out the other to sign up their kids for the draw.
“They knew what size bike their kids would need and, maybe, what kind of style of bike they would like if they won.”