Schools invited to take on the Sustrans’ ‘Big Pedal’ Challenge

Olympic gold medal cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand has called for young people to take part in the Big Pedal 2017. (Submitted Picture).
Olympic gold medal cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand has called for young people to take part in the Big Pedal 2017. (Submitted Picture).

Ballymena schools are being invited to get involved in The Big Pedal 2017 - a national challenge to get more young people cycling and scooting to school.

The Big Pedal 2017, which runs from Monday to Friday, March 20-31, will see pupils, teachers and parents leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school.

Powered by national walking and cycling charity Sustrans and funded by the Bicycle Association on behalf of the cycle industry through its Bike Hub scheme, The Big Pedal is the UK’s largest competition of its kind and it’s being backed by two times Olympic gold medallist cyclist Joanna Rowsell Shand.

The proportion of children walking and cycling to school has been declining since 1995, with the number being driven to primary school increasing each year - as many as one in four cars on the road during the morning peak are on the school run. During the 10 days participating schools will compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike or scooter.

Last year Killylea Primary School, in Co Armagh came second in the whole of the UK.

This year’s theme is ‘Around the world in 10 days’, with pupils tracking their progress on a map of the world, learning about the countries and cities they pass through on their way.

To celebrate the finale of the challenge there is also the option to join Sustrans superhero fundraising day.

All schools will be entered into daily prize draws for rewards, including bike and BMX stunt shows, and equipment if more than 15% of a school cycle or scoot on each day of the challenge. Parents of children can ask their child’s school to sign up to The Big Pedal. For more information visit www.bigpedal.org.uk