Cycling for Children
It is estimated that over 49% of children would like to cycle to school, but the reality is that less than 2% actually do.
The UK has the highest level of obese and overweight children in Europe and the government predicts that obesity will cost us £50bn (in 2007 prices) by 2050 in healthcare and lost work days. To try and reduce this, every child should get a minimum of one hour's activity every day and the majority kids in the UK do not get this. A 15-minute ride to school (or walk) and back again would account for half of this.
Every child and young person should have access to the knowledge, skills and confidence to establish the habit of safe travel by bike and foot early in life.
The Active Schools Edinburgh Team offers cycle training to all of Edinburgh Council's primary schools. The role of the Active Schools Co-ordinators is to train the volunteers who run Bikeability in schools.
Supported by Cycling Scotland who provide resource packs for each school, delivery is normally a combination of playground and road based training over a 6-week period. Primary 5 to 7 are usually targeted, but other resources can be used to help train the younger years.
Various other initiatives have been carried out at schools across the City, one of these was in pertnetship with the I bike Officer from Sustrans who held a workshop for the nursery and early primary children from Forthview Pimary School to encourage them to ride their bikes without stabilisers.
First of all the pedals came off all the bikes and the children free-wheeled around the playground getting their balance. Then, when they were feeling confident, the pedals went back on again and very soon all eight were pedalling around the playground under the watchful eyes of the team.
Everyone was very pleased, especially the parents, and badges were given out at the end of the session.
If you would like more information on anything mentioned above, or would like to run a similar workshop in your school then please contact us.