Pupils at Little Arksey in Doncaster are gearing up to take part in The Big Pedal, an inter-school cycling and scooting competition which spins into action on March 3.
The Big Pedal, which is run by the charity Sustrans and funded by Bike Hub, aims to get kids more active by cycling and scooting the school run.
For ten days, schools all across the country will be competing against each other to make the most number of journeys to school by bike or scooter and they can win prizes for the most number of journeys clocked up.
With the average primary school journey at just 1.5 miles, the Big Pedal is hoping to get children in two thousand schools to make over one million journeys by bike and scooter for the event.
Last year, Little Arksey Primary School, near Doncaster took part in the Big Pedal for the first time and their success really proves how much impact the competition can have on the local community.
Teaching Assistant, Julie Ambler explains: “As a very rural area, travelling by bike is particularly difficult as the only routes into the village from outside are not cycle friendly, especially for children. The choices are a major main road, or a lot of very narrow minor roads; so not ideal. But last year all the families got involved and in some cases would drive from Sheffield to a closer point and cycle from there.”
Sustrans supported the school by providing lots of ideas to try and encourage the children to take part including bringing a smoothie bike along to the school which the children could sit on and use if they had cycled to school that day.
Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans Chief Executive, said: “Last year hundreds of thousands of journeys were made by over a thousand schools and this year it will be even bigger and better!”
“The great thing about the Big Pedal is that everyone in the whole school can get involved. It’s so simple for schools to register on the website, and of course it’s completely free.”
By signing up to the Big Pedal, schools receive tailored lesson plans, posters, maps, and ideas on how to encourage everyone in the school to get involved.
Julie concluded: “The children have got the cycling bug and it’s catching! We can’t wait to take part again this year, especially the Superhero Day. We’ve got some other “top secret” plans to surprise the children this year and we might even win some fantastic prizes!”
To get your school involved in the Big Pedal go to: www.bigpedal.org.uk