Lewis's story - how Bike Club helped him become Bikeability Volunteer of the Year

Lewis Balsillie (centre): Bikeability Volunteer of the Year 2014
Through funding and support from Bike Club, Lewis Balsillie has grown and developed from a teenager who went along to a school club, to a young leader, peer mentor and Bikeability Volunteer of the Year.

Lewis first became involved in Bike Club when he attended Liberton High School's club aged 13. Previous to this, he had no real experience of cycling and saw this as a good chance to try something a bit different, improve on skills and gain confidence.

Lewis attended the club at Liberton HS until he left at the the age of 17. Throughout his time there, he increased his mountain biking skills, learnt basic cycle maintenance and safety checks, tried different disciplines like road, speedway and cyclo-cross, and he became a qualified Cycle Trainer Assistant. He also joined the Edinburgh Falcons Cycle Speedway Club, who he competed and trained with. As well as this, Lewis was involved in delivering Bikeability training to local primary schools and organising races and events.

Lewis said: “It was at this time that I first started to build my confidence and show my ability to lead and coach cycling.”

The Bike Club at Liberton High School has seen a huge amount of success recently, receiving the first Cycle Friendly Secondary School award in Scotland. The club was also short-listed for the Bike Club of the Year 2014, and was given an award of excellence in ‘Developing cycling for young people’.

As well as Bike Club’s success, Lewis was also awarded Bikeability Volunteer of the Year 2014 for his work in local primary schools. Lewis is now a full-time student and he is still delivering Bikeability and training with the Edinburgh Falcons.

My current goal is to get onto the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. I would also like to progress my cycling qualifications.

Lewis Balsillie 

Liberton High School, in Edinburgh received funding and support that helped to boost their cycling activities, and create a ‘hub’ for the school and local community.

Bike Club is a project run through Cycling UK and Youth Scotland. It aims to increase participation in cycling through establishing new clubs, as well as supporting existing ones. Bike Club has a strong focus on creating opportunities for personal and social development through cycling, especially in young people. Bike Club has accredited clubs across Scotland and is currently providing opportunities for young people to become peer mentors and young leaders, just like Lewis.

The case study was written by Carrie Blair who is a Cycling UK Bike Club Officer based in Scotland.