DAYS: EVERY SATURDAY EXCLUDING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS | HOURS: 10:00 TO 12:30
CONTACT AND DONATIONS: FRANCISCO DUATH
EMAIL: JUANFRANCISCO.DUATH@GMAIL.COM | FACEBOOK:BAGUALITO PARK – NELTUME
Bagualitos is a mountain biking class offered completely free of charge to local children. The objective of Bagualitos is to develop athletic biking ability for children ages 6 to 14. This initiative was created by a local adventure sport athlete, Francisco Duath, who saw an organic interest in mountain biking around his neighborhood and decided to cultivate the nascent athletes. He decided to use “Bagualitos,” meaning young wild animal, inspired by the energy and interest of the children. The class began in March of 2017 and the original group of child athletes was made up of participants that used their own bicycles. What began as a small group of only three kids grew to five, then eight, and finally, to 25 young cyclists, 22 of which are boys and three of which are girls.
We seek to elevate the athletic ability of children in the Neltume area, developing personal attributes such as respect, friendship, collaboration, and a deeper understanding of the natural surroundings of this wonderful place.
In December of 2016, Francisco began to build a mountain biking course in the Portal de los Ciervos area of the Huilo Huilo Reserve. The Reserva Huilo Huilo assisted with construction machinery in the development of the bike course, allowing him to level out areas within the circuit, create jumps and curving banks for the cyclists to enjoy. All of this could not have been accomplished without the help of Mr. Hermán Carrillo. Additionally, Francisco also counts on the help of Matias Sandoval, a local student who helps with teaching and training.
In November of 2017, the group received a donation of 25 bicycles and helmets from the Ciclo Club de Santiago and Lippi, an outdoor and athletic clothing company. From that moment forward, the students have made use of the bicycles and equipment during the class. This represents a step forward in the elimination of inequality regarding access to equipment. Instead of some children having nicer bikes and some having barely functional bikes, creating a sense of inadequacy for some, everyone was given equal use of the same equipment. The Huilo Huilo Foundation also contributed to this effort in 2017 by donating storage for the bicycles in safe and secure location. On top of this, the Foundation also supports the activity by providing a lunch, sandwiches and water, for each child every Saturday.
A new facility has been made available to Bagualitos. This will become a permanent location for the equipment and opportunities to grow into social activities and physical training for the students.
The students recently had the opportunity to compete with other young cyclists of the region. Ultimately, Bagualitos is meant to increase interest in cycling and athletics amongst local youth, potentially generating an impact in their development into young adults. Cycling can build muscular strength and develop physical fitness, as well as bolster self-confidence, camaraderie, and solidarity. Young cyclists come to the circuit for structured fun and games, follow rules, develop skills through physical effort, evaluate risks, and evolve to living a better, healthier, and more fulfilled life.
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