Play on Pedals enables over 7,000 pre-school children in Glasgow to ride a bike

A child learns how to ride a bike at one of Cycling UK's Big Bike Revival events in Glasgow (c) Cycling UK

Play on Pedals enables over 7,000 pre-school children in Glasgow to ride a bike

Play on Pedals, a project that is enabling every pre-school child in Glasgow to learn to ride a bike, celebrated a milestone this week by reaching over 7,000 children with this important life skill.

The award nominated partnership project from Cycling UK, Cycling Scotland, The Glasgow Bike Station and Play Scotland has worked with 7,148 children since it began two and a half years ago. 

Play on Pedals is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, and was awarded £232,000 by the People’s Postcode Dream Trust Fund in 2014. It was the dream of Play on Pedals to enable every pre-school child in Glasgow to learn to ride a bike, and it feels like Christmas has come early for the project and its volunteers with the target 7,000 children now exceeded.

Children celebrated with Santa at a Play on Pedals drop-in session in Govan on Saturday 3rd December, where they had the opportunity to try out balance and pedal bikes and receive support from Play on Pedals Instructors to learn to pedal; Dr Bike mechanics also provided bike safety checks and Santa was there to meet and congratulate the children. 

This event was one of 230 community events run by Play on Pedals across Glasgow since 2014. There have also been 364 instructors and instructor trainers trained to teach children to ride, and grants have been given to 35 organisations to develop the project locally. Early years organisations have embraced the project too, with 182 nurseries and childcare establishments across the city getting involved.

As well as being lots of fun, learning to ride a bike is an important life skill. The children that have learned to cycle with Play on Pedals have developed both physically and socially, with changes to their confidence, resilience and interactions with their peers being noted by instructors. Children at Glasgow’s early-years establishments have enjoyed at least eight weeks on the bikes, learning how to balance, steer, brake and pedal.  

Many participating centres have purchased their own bikes or received donations from Play on Pedals bike amnesties, enabling them to develop their programmes for younger children. Over 450 balance and pedal bikes are now in use across Glasgow thanks to the project, enabling the continued delivery of training and activities for pre-school children.

Polly Jarman, Play on Pedals Development Officer said:

"We are delighted to have reached so many children with Play on Pedals; we’ve worked really hard to deliver high quality training and to provide lots of fun opportunities for children to get involved, so we are over the moon to have achieved our dream. It’s been a huge but massively rewarding challenge, and we want to thank the groups and individuals across the city who have supported the project and helped us to enable every pre-school child in Glasgow to ride a bike."

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said:

“It is fantastic news to hear that Play on Pedals has not only reached but exceeded their target of reaching 7,000 children. Over 7,000 pre-school children in Glasgow have been taught how to ride a bike thanks to this project. As a result of funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery through the Dream Fund this dream has now become a reality.”

Cherie Morgan, Strategy and Development Officer at Play Scotland, one of the Play on Pedals partner organisations, said: 

“Cycling Scotland is proud to be part of the Play on Pedals partnership, which has allowed over 7000 pre-school children across Glasgow to cycle confidently as part of an active and healthy lifestyle. We are committed to supporting children to enjoy all the benefits of cycling, across Glasgow and beyond and look forward to working with partners to ensure that more children across Scotland can participate.  With support from Transport Scotland we have already been able to offer Play on Pedals Instructor Training to local authority nurseries in many other parts of Scotland.”

Christopher Johnson, Senior Development Officer at Cycling Scotland, said: 

“Cycling Scotland is proud to be part of the Play on Pedals partnership, which has allowed over 7000 pre-school children across Glasgow to cycle confidently as part of an active and healthy lifestyle. We are committed to supporting children to enjoy all the benefits of cycling, across Glasgow and beyond, through the national roll out of Play on Pedals training.”

Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s Head of Development in Scotland said:

“We’re delighted to have achieved our dream of reaching 7000 pre-school children in Glasgow with the fun, freedom and joy of cycling through Play on Pedals. Learning to ride a bike is an essential life skill; learning at a young age establishes active habits and encourages families to consider cycling as a real transport option if the conditions are right. Cycling UK’s vision is of a happier, healthier and cleaner world because more people cycle and we hope that more families in Glasgow will soon be able to choose to cycle with their children.”

Contact information 

Claire Connachan - Big Bike Revival Communications Manager, Cycling UK.
claire.connachan[at]cyclinguk.org / 07500 847 381

Notes to editors 

Images 
Images for use to illustrate this press release are available for download.

About Play on Pedals 

  • Play on Pedals is a partnership project between Cycling UK, Cycling Scotland, The Glasgow Bike Station and Play Scotland. 
  • The project is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. It won the People’s Postcode Dream Trust Fund in 2014 and was awarded £232,000 to enable 7,000 preschool children in Glasgow to learn to ride a bike before starting school. 
  • Play on Pedals grants have been given to 35 Hero Organisations, which include local bike workshops South West Community Cycles, De’ils On Wheels and Wheel Fix It, and community groups such as Lambhill Stables, 3D Drumchapel, Drumchapel Sports Centre and Dumbarton Road Corridor Environment Trust. These groups have hosted training and events as well as supporting the rotation and maintenance of bikes.
  • In summer 2015 Cycling Scotland received independent funding from Transport Scotland to roll out the Play on Pedals Instructor training programme to other local authorities across Scotland, making Play on Pedals a national programme. 
  • In summer 2016, Play on Pedals in Glasgow joined together with the Glasgow Bike Station, South West Community Cycles, Free Wheel North and Soul Riders to form the Glasgow Community Cycle Network. The Network is funded by Glasgow City Council through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places funding stream, to deliver cycling activities and events across the city and encourage new cyclists of all ages.

About Play on Pedals Partner Organisations

  • Cycling UK, formerly CTC the national cycling charity, aims to inspire, encourage and help people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy cycling more often and safely. It has over 64,000 members across the U.K and has over 130 years’ history.
  • Cycling Scotland is the nation’s cycling organisation. Working with others, we help create and deliver opportunities and an environment so anyone anywhere in Scotland can cycle easily and safely. Cycling Scotland is a recognised Scottish Charity no. SC 029760. www.cycling.scot      
  • The Glasgow Bike Station is the city’s largest bicycle recycling organisation.  A registered charity and social enterprise, it aims to encourage and promote cycling as a means of transport and preserve the environment by reconditioning unwanted bicycles and selling them at a low cost to the public. 
  • Play Scotland works to promote the importance of play for all children and young people, and campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community. Play Scotland aims to ensure that all children and young people in Scotland have equal access to diverse and quality play opportunities that meet their individual needs. 
  • The People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery. Players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally. 55p from every £2 ticket goes to good causes and players have raised £82.9 million for good causes across the country
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