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Schools Course Gets Kids Biking Better

Hundreds of primary school children are better on their bikes thanks to a new training programme being delivered in schools.

Jersey Sport has been working with Years 5 and 6 at Les Landes, La Moye, Mont Nicolle, Bel Royal, St Lawrence and St Mary’s.

Bikeability helps youngsters develop confidence on two wheels.

The UK Department of Transport course has been rolled out across the six primaries over the past three months.

All schools involved have completed their Level 1 award, while 18 St Mary's pupils have gone one to complete Level 2  - which develops the skills needed to cycle safely on the roads.

The training enables the pupils to start and stop, negotiate junctions, respond to hazards, communicate with road users and learn all the required hand signals, road signs and road markings.

Cycle Training and School Events Officer at Jersey Sport Laura Riley says the scheme hopes to encourage students to lead a more active lifestyle.

“Teaching children how to ride a bike safely on the roads is such an important life skill that sets them on a path to leading a more active lifestyle.

"They can cycle to school safely, with confidence and enjoy all cycling has to offer, whilst reaping all the physical benefits. We hope to see them continue cycling into adulthood, commuting to work on a bike, when the time comes.”

Upon completion of each cycle training course, children are awarded a Bikeability certificate.

Laura Riley says this has been a great source of encouragement.

"We've had many children that couldn't ride a bike to begin with, so we rolled out a learn to ride programme, and many of them have completed the level 1, so receiving a certificate has been really exciting for them."

Pictured: six of the 18 students completing the Level 2 Bikeability scheme

St Mary's headteacher Maria Stegenwalner says the scheme has been a fantastic experience for her students.

"Knowing how to keep themselves safe when cycling around the parish of St Mary has already seen an increase in the number of children cycling to school. It’s been a pleasure to see them so confident, and road aware.

"The team from Jersey Sport have been great, and their skill and enthusiasm, and the excellent organisation of the programme has inspired the children to get more active.”

Jersey Sport plans a phased roll out of Bikeability across all the island's primary schools.

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