Youngsters pedal their way to success

TWO Doncaster schools have pedalled their way to success in a Tour-de-France themed competition.

Castle Hills Primary School, in Scawthorpe, and Carcroft Primary School took the top two places in a virtual version of the famous race – part of Bike It, a year-long cycling educational programme run by sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Pupils were treated to a display by world champion trials rider Ben Slinger and fellow expert rider Danny Butler as a prize, with goodies along the way.

Pupils at several schools in Doncaster and one in York had to notch up cycling miles in the challenge.

For the Carcroft school, the success came shortly after the NHS Doncaster Primary Care Trust's Choosing Health project paid for a shelter to safely store bikes at their site and gave pupils the option of taking two wheels to school.

Before the launch of the 10,000 bike shelter, youngsters could not ride bikes to school because there was nowhere to keep them secure.

The PCT's funding of the shelter enabled the school to take part in Bike It, run locally by Jim Cole, which covers topics like safety, bike maintenance and environmental issues.

A group of pupils called the Bike It Crew have been promoting cycling among their classmates.

It is believed to be the first time a PCT has worked with Sustrans on the Bike It scheme.

The shelter has been regularly filled to capacity.

Andrew Picken, Doncaster PCT's Choosing Health development worker for Carcroft and Skellow said: "For the school to finish runner-up in the Tour de France contest so soon after the launch of their shelter is a fantastic achievement. Pupils are really enthusiastic about cycling and, after asking for the shelter, have taken full advantage of it.

"The benefits to their health and also to the environment, such as reducing traffic around the school, are significant."

Each of the school's 200 pupils has been given a high visibility jacket, with NHS logo to help them ride to school.


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