Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Changhua Schools Make Students Suffer On Bikes Before Graduation

Several Chinese language news outlets were reporting on the cycling event organized by the Changhua Bureau of Education that went horribly awry yesterday when 15 students were admitted to the hospital suffering from symptoms of heat stroke and broken bones.

The Changhua Bureau of Education hosted a cycling event for 2000 junior high school seniors as part of their end of the year activities. The event happened to coincide with one of the hottest days of the year and involved 18km of climbing.

After a few kilometers several of the students began suffering from symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion, while others suffered physical injuries at the result of collisions with other cyclists, and in one case, a student suffered physical injuries after falling from the bike in exhaustion. Fifteen students were admitted to the hospital with one in serious but stable condition.

It takes time to acclimate the body to riding in higher temperatures, and whoever organized this event used poor judgement that hurt some young people. Furthermore, these kids spend way too much time indoors studying (especially junior high school seniors who have been cramming for their exams) and not exercising, so it is no wonder their bones are weak and they buckle during a bike ride. I applaud the idea of promoting cycling for these young people, but proper preparations would have been helpful.

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