Hundreds of kids benefit from Cycling UK balance bikes donation

Children with a few of the new balance bikes that were delivered to Wootey Infant School, Hants

Hundreds of kids benefit from Cycling UK balance bikes donation

Cycling UK is ensuring that more than 300 youngsters will discover the gift of cycling this year after donating 41 balance bikes to schools in the Alton area of Hampshire.

Children reacted with excited smiles as the shiny red Raleigh Sunbeam Skedaddle bikes were delivered to Wootey Infant School yesterday.

Susan Keywood, Cycling UK's Cycling Development Officer for Surrey and Hampshire, organised the donation through Alton Buckle Local Children’s Partnership.

Alton Buckle Co-ordinator Jen Hammersley said: “We are so grateful to Cycling UK. This is an incredibly generous action which will benefit hundreds of schoolchildren in Alton and the surrounding villages for years to come.”

After arranging funding through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, Susan initially contacted Alton Buckle with the offer of balance bikes for the Bushy Leaze Children and Families Centre.

Jen said: “We were so delighted with the offer but, always thinking about our network, we asked if Cycling UK's generosity would stretch to the local schools as well, in particular for our Reception Year and Special Educational Needs children.

We are so grateful to Cycling UK. This incredibly generous action will benefit hundreds of schoolchildren in the area for years to come.”

Jen Hammersley from Alton Buckle 

“Susan very kindly replied with a ‘I’ll see what I can do’. Needing no further encouragement, we spoke to the 12 infant/primary schools within the Alton Buckle network and ten replied with a very big ‘yes please!’”

In the end, the national cycling charity provided 41 balance bikes with helmets, which were all delivered to Wootey Infant School in Alton, from where they will be collected by the other schools today.

Jen added: “The bikes and helmets are worth a total of £3,600 – but the real value is to the children of Alton.

“With obesity rates rising, we want to do all we can to encourage children to get on a bike at an early age. It gets them outside in the fresh air, gives them exercise and will hopefully lead to a love of cycling which lasts all their lives. All the schools who have benefitted from this are really excited.”

Ella Palmer, Headteacher at Wootey Infant School, said: “We are very grateful to Cycling UK for their wonderful gift of balance bikes for our school. We know the children will love riding them at playtime, keeping healthy, fit and happy.”

The schools which will benefit from the new balance bikes are: Alton Infants, Andrews Endowed Primary, Bentley Primary, St Mary’s Primary in Bentworth, Binsted Primary, Chawton Primary, Medstead Primary, Rowledge Primary, St Lawrence Primary and Wootey Infants, plus Bushy Leaze Children and Families Centre.

Cycling UK's Susan Keywood said: “I feel very privileged to be in a position to arrange this donation. I’m really pleased the funding is being put to such a good use and to see people, especially the young children, so excited.”

  • A balance bike has no pedals, chain or training wheels and helps a child learn how to balance and steer with just a few
    hours’ practice. The biggest benefit is that they teach the child to balance and not to rely on stabilisers, both when they are moving and stationary. This improves their bilateral co-ordination, being able to use both sides of the body at the same time with control – all of which leads to a higher level of self-confidence in their physical abilities. Cycling UK has produced a video which shows in simple steps how and why a pedal-less bike is an ideal introduction to cycling.
  • Alton Buckle Local Children’s Partnership is formed from a wide range of organisations drawn from both the statutory and voluntary sectors across Alton and surrounding villages – with the aim of improving life chances and opportunities for local children and families.

 

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Comments

Helmets? Shared? Amongst school kids? What could possibly go wrong? (Or am I nit picking...)

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