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MP visits school Bike Club

October 11, 2011 12:28 PM
Originally published by Cambridge Liberal Democrats

MP Julian Huppert visited Castle School, Cambridge, to witness a highly successful Bike Club initiative. The school is the first Bike Club in Cambridge catering for young people with physical and learning disabilities.

Bike Club is a UK wide cycling programme which works with local youth and community groups, schools, voluntary and statutory organisations to help young people be creative and explore their cycling interests.

Julian Huppert enjoyed a Bike Club display from the young people who are looking forward to presenting their cycling skills. The bike display incorporated the demonstration of basic skills using a selection of mountain bikes and tricycles.

Castle School is a Specia lSchool catering for 140 young people aged 2 to 19 years of age. The school have committed to supporting their young people to cycle more through their School Travel Plan and have subsequently set up a very successful Bike Club initiative.

Sarah Merrington, National Bike Club Manager explains, "Castle School Bike Club is a positive example of how a school has incorporated a cycling initiative into their school curriculum. It is great to see how the school's Bike Club has been incorporated as part of their curriculum and runs as part of the life skills programme in Key Stage 3."

Initially the school used a Bike Club grant to purchase bikes and safety equipment and now runs the Club during lunchtimes and after school. The school has targeted 70 pupils to access the project in their first year.

The Bike Club focuses on building safe cycling skills, simple maintenance skills and learning Bikeability skills. The Club focuses on building the confidence and self esteem of the pupils enabling them to work together as a team. Pupils with significant co-ordination or physical difficulties are still able to access the Bike Club through intense one to one support from Bike Club leaders.

Several members of staff are currently training as cycle leaders in order to be able to deliver the activities appropriately and safely. And it does not stop there as the school's Bike Club are building up to undertaking cycling outings and tours.

Julian Huppert said "This is an extremely worthwhile initiative which will hopefully encourage these young people to ride safely and enjoy cycling.

"It's great news that the club will also teach them how to look after their bikes and give them the chance to take part in cycling outings. Putting cycling on the curriculum gives space on the timetable for cycling and shows young people how valuable it can be not only in terms of exercise but also as a life skill."