The Cycling UK Cycle Champions project provided training for two volunteers, Ellie Hill and Garry Leivers, who have gave up their own time to gain the National Standards Instructor training qualification. They have been running cycle activities with the help of a young leader Andrew for children and their siblings attending the RSD holiday play scheme. This was the third year that the play scheme has taken place and it has doubled in its popularity.
This year even the younger children have had the same opportunity to cycle thanks to the Cycling UK Champions Programme purchasing 10 smaller bikes for them. By the end of the holiday scheme, six children will have completed their Level 1 Bikeability cycle certificates and seven children will have learned to ride a bike.
Cycling UK Cycle Champions Officer in Derby Amanda Salt said: “Some of these children have other types of disability, as well as being hard of hearing or deaf, which may make it more difficult for them to learn to cycle. Ellie and Garry have experience of working with deaf children and have a good understanding of their difficulties and therefore know how to help overcome them.
"At a time where many children spend more time on Playstations and computer games, there is nothing better than seeing the enjoyment on the children’s faces as some who previously couldn’t ride achieve and others have fun improving their skills."
Donna, the play scheme organiser whose 11 year old son, Jack learned to ride a bike as last years scheme said, “The cycle workshops have been a fantastic addition to a very fun packed and active week. In a time where many children spend more time on Playstations and computer games there is nothing better than seeing the enjoyment on the children’s faces as some who previously couldn’t ride achieve and others have fun improving their skills. It is great that the younger children can also take part this year. My son has not been off his bike since he learned to ride here last year.”
Ellie said: “There have been lots of people who have helped my children achieve and I want to give something back to help other children achieve their potential. Cycling is a life skill and we aim to provide road training in the near future to children so that when they leave school they can cycle independently to college or work or wherever”.
Garry said: “It is very satisfying being able to get these children riding a bike and seeing their delight as they punch the air. It is great when they fall off, laugh and get right back on again. They are so determined.”
Sarah aged eight, who has learned to ride a bike in a week during the sessions said: “I enjoyed all the activities but cycling was the best!”