Olympic Champion Chris Boardman MBE visited Liverpool on May 22nd to find out about the city’s major success in delivering cycle training for young people over the past year. More than 70 per cent of primary school age children are receiving Level 2 training through the national on-road cycle training programme, Bikeability, against a national average of 40 per cent.
And Level 3 Bikeability training has been delivered to over 1,000 secondary age students over the past year – more than anywhere else in the country.
After spending time with the BikeRight! team at their office and workshop in Kirkdale, Chris visited Rice Lane Junior School to meet pupils, staff and Bikeability trainers and learn more about their work to create the next generation of cycle ready young people in Liverpool.
Caption - Chris pictured with Liz Clarke and Jo Somerset, Directors at BikeRight!
During his visit, Chris saw a Bikeability course - managed by the Merseyside Transport Partnership and delivered by BikeRight! - in action, with Rice Lane pupils learning their road riding skills. He also added his support to a national campaign for cycle training to be included in the primary school curriculum, and to be seen as a life skill equivalent to swimming.
Headteacher at Rice Lane Junior School, Margaret Rowlands, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Chris to our school so we could show him the progress our pupils are making in cycling.
“We have been involved with the Bikeability scheme for over three years. It is very popular with the children and parents and ensures the children are confident cyclists who are aware of road safety. We feel it’s a really important addition to our curriculum.”
There has been further good news for schools on Merseyside, with the announcement that the region has been granted £460,000 from the Department for Transport to deliver cycle training in schools for 2013/14 - the highest amount in the country.
It will enable 11,500 more Merseyside school students to receive Bikeability training, Levels 1, 2 and 3, and will also allow the region to build on its success over the past year of delivering training to 296 young people with special needs, at 23 different schools.
BikeRight! Managing Director Liz Clarke said “Merseyside is leading the way in training the next generation of cyclists. Once children become experienced road users, the impact continues into adulthood on their health and prospects for getting to work or education. Every child deserves to have access to this important lifetime skill.”