Arksey school comes out on top in Sustrans’ Big Pedal event

Arksey Primary School pupils taking part in  the Big Cycle
Arksey Primary School pupils taking part in the Big Cycle

Pupils, parents and staff at Arksey Primary School have been getting into gear and celebrating success following their Sustrans’ Big Pedal – the UK’s biggest cycle challenge.

Arksey Primary School finished first in Doncaster and seventh place overall in the small schools category of the nationwide competition.

Over the two week period, children, staff and parents clocked up an impressive 854 journeys by bike and scooter.

Sustrans is a charity that aims to make it easier for people to walk and cycle and its latest challenge was aimed at getting more young people cycling and scootering to school and was backed by double Olympic champion, Joanna Rowsell Shand.

More than 250 schools across Yorkshire registered to take part in The Big Pedal 2017, which took place between March 20 and March 31.

Throughout the ten-day challenge, pupils, parents and teachers left their cars at home and got on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school.

Head teacher of the school, Shelley Fisher, said: “It has been a delight to see Arksey Primary School thoroughly embrace The Big Pedal this year. We were thrilled with coming in first place in the region and overall seventh place in the whole country.”

Sustrans’ Bike It officer for Doncaster Tom Collister said: “The average primary school journey is 1.6 miles – a distance that can be walked, scooted or cycled as an easy way of building more physical activity into our busy lives.

“The Big Pedal is fun, inclusive and it helps schools to encourage whole families to lead more active lives, as well as reducing car traffic and pollution around the school gates.”

She added: “Although the competition runs for two weeks, it has a lasting effect on the way that the school community travel to school – last year 75 percent of schools that took part in the Big Pedal said pupils continued to cycle and scooter to school following the event.

“When I visited Arksey Primary the week after the Big Pedal, the bike racks were still overflowing with bikes and scooters.”

A recent YouGov poll, carried out on behalf of Sustrans, found that one in 10 (nine percent) of the UK’s parents say their children and young people get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

According to government guidelines, children and young people aged five to 18 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day “to maintain a basic level of health”. For more information visit www.sustrans.org.uk/our-services website.