This week saw the annual launch of the Big Pedal for schools – a fortnight active travel challenge organised by Sustrans charity across the UK. Here at Brightkidz I got on my bike and joined one of the local schools we regularly work with – Grange Primary Academy in Kettering – for the event. Local press joined too and here is an insight into why it’s good to get them on board.
Not Just for Cyclists!
The Big Pedal isn’t just about coming by bike – pupils can join on scooters, on foot and even on roller skates! Grange Primary Academy pupils were also given a treat of a ride around the playground and this included some of the nursery pupils on trikes and scooters too. It’s great when schools encourage active travel not just to and from school but also within the school learning time which is what they regularly do there.
One of the highlights for the pupils was having the TV crew from our regional news programme coming to film shots of the pupils cycling, scooting and rolling around. This was to give a local perspective of the national coverage the Big Pedal is getting. Of course children love the chance to be filmed for television and the children provide a really interesting story for the news channel. We hope it will inspire viewers’ children to cycle and walk to school too.
Many of the pupils with their different modes of active travel were also in a photo shoot for the local newspaper, along with their head teacher and myself representing Brightkidz. Accompanying this was an interview with some of the regular pupils who cycle. Head teacher Chris Latimer was interviewed and talked about how the school has been doing lots of activities over the past few years to promote active travel such as a Walk to School with Father Christmas and Scooter training. When a head teacher is so enthused you know the active travel bug has taken hold! Then I was interviewed to explain how we are working with several local schools and are keen for other schools to get on board with us too.
Modeshift STARS and Year Round Active Travel
This session was also a good opportunity for the pupils to promote their achievements to date with the Modeshift Bronze and Silver awards… and they proudly displayed their certificates and plaque for the cameras. The Big Pedal is just one of many activities pupils in the school do to promote active travel which is an ongoing focus for the school. Although The Big Pedal is just one fortnight a year it has the potential to create publicity opportunities like this, inspire children to give cycling or walking to school a go and also to give recognition to the many schools, pupils, teachers and other supporters who are working on this year round.
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