On yer bike! Pupils pedal for cycling proficiency

Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils at Bedwell School in Stevenage had the opportunity to learn to ride or improve their cycling skills

Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils at Bedwell School in Stevenage had the opportunity to learn to ride or improve their cycling skills, thanks to Herts County Council, British Cycling and Herts Disability Sports Foundation - Credit: Herts County Council

More than 50 schoolchildren have been able to participate in a cycle safety course, thanks to a generous donation of bikes.

Members of the community and British Cycling rallied around to enable pupils at Stevenage's Bedwell Primary School to gain valuable cycling skills on the Bikeability course.

The cycling team at Herts County Council, working with the Herts Disability Sports Foundation, were able to make the donated bikes roadworthy and help develop Learn to Ride and Bikeability programmes for the pupils.

And thanks to the support of parents and carers, as well as the hard work of sports teacher Kelly Thomas, more 50 children successfully achieved their Level 1 certificates. Many of the schools’ Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils either couldn’t ride or didn’t own a bike before training began.

County councillors Phil Bibby and Graham McAndrew attended a recent celebration assembly and presented the new cyclists with their badges and certificates.

Phil Bibby, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “It was fantastic to see these young children being so enthusiastic about their newfound ability to cycle safely, and I hope that many will regard cycling as their preferred mode of travel for many years to come.

"This will have a positive impact on the environment, as well as the children’s health and wellbeing.”

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Bedwell headteacher Emma Shaw said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed their sessions, the staff delivering the programme were patient, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

"Several children who were unable to ride have now achieved their Bikeability Level 2 and are now competent cyclists.  We are looking forward to training next year."

HCC's cycling officer Lucy Hunter said: “These children will be a generation who can choose cycling as a sustainable way to travel in the future and these skills will stay with them forever.

"It is fantastic to see what can be achieved by someone’s passion to give children the best possible start by teaching these children to ride safely.”

If you would like more information about cycle training, or would like to donate a bike to enable more children to become competent cyclists, contact cycle.training@hertfordshire.gov.uk.