East Antrim schools take pole position in Big Pedal Competition

Carrick Central - one of 10 East Antrim schools to take part in the Big Pedal competition
Carrick Central - one of 10 East Antrim schools to take part in the Big Pedal competition

Ten schools in the Larne, Ballyclare and Carrick areas joined nearly 1,700 other schools across the UK in the Big Pedal competition, aiming to make the most journeys to school by bike and scooter.

Pupils, staff and parents all joined in, swopping the car for some fresh air and exercise, and a number of the schools held their own against stiff competition, coming in the top three places in the province.

In the small school one-day competition Carrick Central came third in Northern Ireland and fourth in the UK, while in the large school category Acorn Integrated Primary School was also third in Northern Ireland.

Tir na nOg PS and Ballyclare PS both came first in their categories and Cairncastle PS took on the very competitive five-day competition and finished in seventh place in Northern Ireland.

Between the 10 schools well over 2000 journeys to school were made by bike and scooter, benefitting the health of pupils and parents, and reducing road congestion and pollution.

Many of the schools also ran activities in-school to encourage more pupils to take part, and to give opportunities to practise their bike and scooter skills.

Carrick Central turned their daily mile, where pupils walk or run around the playground, into a cycle and scoot a mile. Several schools including Ballyclare PS and St MacNissi’s PS got creative and blinged their bikes.

Pupils at Acorn IPS among others learnt how to fix a puncture so they could keep moving whatever happens.

All ages joined in, with a number of Primary One and Primary Two pupils in Cairncastle Primary School and Tir na nOg Primary taking up the challenge to ditch their stabilisers and learn to cycle independently.