Tower Hamlets school pupils race to a healthy life

Sustrans, the UK ’s leading sustainable transport charity and Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust have joined forces to bring a week long programme of cycling activities in a bid to get the borough’s children fit and healthy. Over 880 pupils at Stepney Green pupils have been taking part in an inspirational week to encourage more and more pupils to cycle to school. The week involved a series of events including: mountain bike training, BMX stunt shows and a static bike race. Children have also been learning about the benefits of cycling for their health and the environment in classroom sessions.

Sustrans Bike It Officer James Scott said: “This week has acted as a great way to get as many pupils as possible saddling up as we approach spring time. Over the week we got around 800 pupils on their bikes. I hope this week will mean pupils have been inspired to keep cycling to school. We know that 47% of children would like to cycle to school and currently only 2% actually do, this means we have a huge potential to increase cycling levels across Tower Hamlets.

“Cycling to school has so many benefits for pupils such as improved health, confidence and concentration as well as the obvious benefits for the environment in which they will grow up in.”

The Bike It project works with over 400 schools and over 60,000 children and young people across England and Wales . It works directly with pupils, parents and staff to help them overcome whatever it is that is preventing them from cycling to school – by organising cycle training, helping to install new bike sheds, contributing to classroom work and providing information about safe routes to schools. Participating schools across England have seen levels of cycling treble within a year– bucking the trend in declining numbers of children cycling to school.

There are 10 schools in the Borough of Tower Hamlets that are taking part in the Sustrans Bike It project. Bike It is a nationwide scheme, managed by sustainable transport charity Sustrans. Nationally the project is funded by Cycling England, and the cycle industry through the Bike Hub, locally Bike It is funded by Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust.

Source: Sustrans