With the Bike for Children project, we aim to have a lasting impact on the lives of children in Arnhem (a suburb of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands). Over the next 5 years, we will provide at least one bicycle to 100 children in need, in collaboration with the national fund Kinderhulp and its intermediary in Arnhem, Stichting Leergeld. Together with Kinderhulp and the Decathlon Foundation. Decathlon Arnhem will be there for them in terms of repairs, buying them back if they need a bigger bike in the future, introducing them to other types of sports by organising an urban sports event and self-defence lessons for the girls four times a year. The project also plans to help them in their professional reintegration and introduce them to the world of Decathlon (they could perhaps become future trainees or even work for us) and to get involved with our teammates to regularly check what we can do to have more impact.
Mario, Social Impact Manager at Decathlon Amsterdam: "Growing up in the Netherlands means growing up with a bicycle. We are a very small country, but with a lot of people and even more bikes. I myself grew up with a bike and I never felt it was a privilege. I never thought about the fact that cycling gave me freedom, independence, self-confidence and happiness. When I learned that one in twelve children in the Netherlands, and even one in eight in Arnhem, do not grow up with a bicycle, I was immediately touched. Many parties in the Netherlands are already working on a solution to this problem, but I am sure that we can also play a role. In Arnhem, the project is co-created with Sportbedrijf Arnhem, which will provide children with cycling lessons to enable them to travel safely. Stichting Leergeld takes care of the communication and administration with the parents at local level and at national level the Nationaal Fonds Kinderhulp. In May, we participated with our employees and customers in the "bike for children" action. This fundraising event showed us that the community is very keen to help these children. With the help of the Decathlon Foundation, we can reach even more children. In 2021 and at least the next 5 years, our goal is to help at least 100 children in Arnhem, not only to have a bike, but also to introduce them to all the benefits and fun that a bike can bring to your life ."
Niek, running department manager: "I'm not going to tell you that I'm involved in this project because I grew up poor, that's not true. We were not rich, but we had the necessities. Enough to go to a good school, enough to eat healthy, enough to go on holiday and enough to do sports. I am involved in this project because I am grateful for the opportunities I had as a child, and my personal motivation is to give those opportunities to children who are less fortunate. During my internship at the municipality of Arnhem, I saw the sad stories of their neighbourhood, and because of my deep connection to my hometown of Arnhem, I am more than happy that, through this project, we can make a (small) difference for these children."