Posted: Wed, 05 Jan 2022 12:59
More children will be given the opportunity to learn to cycle thanks to this new funding from the Bikeability Trust and Department for Transport.
Forty-four projects will receive a share of more than £1.6million from the Widening Participation Fund. The Fund is being released to help achieve the Government's ambition to offer cycle training to every child. The money will be used to fund projects that help children who wouldn't usually learn how to cycle become confident cyclists.
Many children face barriers to cycling. The Active Lives children's survey found that boys are more likely to be active than girls, children from affluent areas are more likely to be active than children from poorer backgrounds, and children from ethnic minority backgrounds are more likely to be less active than children from white backgrounds.
To overcome these challenges, the Widening Participation Fund is supporting projects that remove these barriers and help children learn to ride and keep cycling into adulthood.
Research shows that cycling at a young age has a long-term beneficial impact on the health of children, right through to adulthood. Studies have shown that cycling provides positive experiences, enjoyment, self-esteem, reduced stress and improved mood.
Active Together are delighted to be one of the national pilot projects selected as part of this funding. We will be delivering a targeted 'Learn to Ride' programme to identified children from lower socio-economic groups and ethnically diverse communities from across Leicestershire, through a combination of school and community provision.
This provision will be in the form of a mobile 'Bikeability Bus', quite literally taking the offer to children locally. Bikes and helmets will be provided for all participants that do not currently own them, to ensure that there is no barriers to this offer. Once children have completed the course, a Bike Grant Scheme will then also be offered to support those who cannot afford to purchase a bike, to do so, for increased sustainable use in the longer term. Our aim is to teach over 500 children to ride a bike by the end of the summer 2022 and encourage them to keep riding to and from school and in their own leisure time, as part of our 'Let's Get Moving' campaign.
Geoff Maltby, Sports Development Manager at Active Together said, "Active Together are absolutely delighted to be part of this national pilot and receive this funding to deliver our unique and exciting project across Leicestershire. Cycling is a fundamental life skill, and every child should have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike and have to access a bike, so that they can ride for the fun and enjoyment of it, as well as the added travel and health benefits".
Emily Cherry, Chief Executive at the Bikeability Trust, said: "Our mission is to ensure every child can learn how to cycle. These innovative projects will address the barriers that could prevent a child from learning to ride.
"I am so proud of the creativity and originality we have seen in the successful bids. With the support and ingenuity of the organisations out there delivering Bikeability, our mission is on track. From providing cycles to giving children inspirational cycling role models, the Widening Participation Fund projects will give more children and their families discover the joys of cycling."
(Source: The Bikeability Trust)