Two Wheels, One Love: Racers Learn Life Lessons
The high-flying sport of bicycle motocross can seem more an individual pursuit than an exercise in love and cooperation, but a Jamaican initiative is using the sport as a lever to community, cooperation and safety while growing the sport in the area.
The Eden Park BMX Track in Jacks River, St. Mary, Jamaica, opened in 2012. While many activities bringing together youths from various parts of the community tend to dissolve into rivalry, the park has proven a “safe haven” where program organizers are using the facility and growing interest in BMX as a portal to much broader lessons for area youth.
The Fetzer Institute collaborated with organizers of the facility to create “Two Wheels, One Love,” a coaching program for BMX biking that built on this spirit of peace and sharing to develop the first BMX program in Jamaica and to integrate awareness of love and forgiveness with the teaching of this new sport.
“We’re going to build love and forgiveness and principles like caring and kindness into the DNA of BMX as a sport,” says Jonathan Gosse, Executive Director of the Oracabessa Foundation that oversees the park.
Diana Cutaia of Coaching Peace developed a six-part curriculum that mirrors the focus areas of the developmental bicycle training with concepts like courage, friendliness, caring, respect, responsibility and love and forgiveness. Along with training in riding and safety techniques, students receive guidance on the loving spirit needed to foster an inclusive, successful BMX culture.
“It’s both a development of sports and a development through sports,” says Gosse. “If kids get exposure to love and forgiveness and care and compassion and become better people, that’s more important than whether they can ride a bicycle or not.”
This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on Sport & Embodied Spiritual Practice.