Schools in Carrick are being invited to take part in the 2019 Bike to School Week which runs from September 23-27.
Organised by Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, and supported by the Bikeability Trust, Bike to School Week celebrates cycling to school and the benefits of travelling actively for children.
Current figures (Travel Survey for Northern Ireland report 2016-2018) show that only two per cent of primary school children in Northern Ireland currently travel to school by cycle. This is a stark contrast to cycling levels elsewhere such as in the Netherlands, where cycling is the main mode of transport for 49% of primary school children.
These figures suggest that more needs to be done in the UK to make cycling an easy, safe, and appealing option for travelling to school.
To support schools throughout Bike to School Week, there are a range of resources available, including school posters plus a five-day pack of daily activities to be completed in class and a video guide with simple practices to check your bike is safe to ride. These activities aim to inspire pupils to think about their journeys to school, understand the benefits of active travel, and consider the causes and effects of air pollution.
Outside of the classroom, families are invited to join two competitions: The Bike to School Week Sustrans photo competition, where sharing photos of cycling to and from school with the hashtag #SustransWin could see one lucky pupil win a brand new Frog Bike. Parents are also invited to download the Sustrans guide that offers tips on cycling, walking and scooting to school.
And, The Bikeability Trust story competition: All entrants of stories about riding to and from school during Bike to School Week will be entered into a prize draw to win a brand new Carrera Abyss 24 inch wheel suitable for eight to nine years-old. Enter via https://bikeability.org.uk/your-stories/
Emma Keenan, Sustrans Active School Travel Manager in Northern Ireland, said: “Bike to School Week is a great way to show the benefits of cycling to school for children across Northern Ireland and to promote the positive impact that an active lifestyle can have on children’s wellbeing and overall health. We’re calling on schools in Northern Ireland to take part, use the new resources and inspire children and parents to travel actively to school. We also hope Bike to School Week will send a clear message to our politicians and decision-makers to prioritise a safer and more pleasant environment for children to walk and cycle to school.” More details at www.sustrans.org.uk/campaigns/bike-to-school-week-2019/