Greenwich and Lambeth-based organisations have successfully secured funding from the Bikeability Trust to help more children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) take up cycling in the region.
Throughout 2020, cycling numbers increased due to the massive uptake in cycling during the global health crisis. However, children and families with SEND still face many barriers that prevent them from accessing cycling benefits. These include access to suitable equipment, quality training for specific health conditions, and financial barriers.
The Bikeability cycle training programme, which has trained more than 3.5million children, aims to help every child in England have the opportunity to cycle confidently and enjoy this skill for life. The Trust’s vision is to ensure more than 5 million children take up Bikeability cycle training by 2025.
To ensure that all children can access cycle training, the Bikeability Trust rolled out a £300,000 grant application to fund a series of pilot projects to increase the provision of Bikeability for children with SEND. There are 18 successful recipients of the first round of this Innovation Fund.
Cycle Confident and Access Sport will be using their allocated funding for an innovative approach to targeting Pupil Referral Units (PRU) and using BMX Pump Track. The aim is to produce output to show how the project can support future learning and delivery of Bikeability to SEND pupils in PRU’s and Mainstream.
Michael Corden, who heads up the Cycle Confident and BikeRight! combined 1st4sport recognised delivery centre, said: “Cycle Confident have worked with Pupil Referral Units for a number of years and have always had the desire to broaden the appeal of Bikeability within these settings. The partnership with Access Sport, The Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Lewisham will allow us to pilot courses in more PRUs and gain valuable insight into the additional skill sets that need to be embedded in our instructor training and development programmes.”
CEO of Access Sport, Mark Hardie, said: “Access Sport has been working successfully with Pupil Referral Units and SEND pupils using the thrill of BMX to foster cycling and wider life-skills for young people who often lack appropriate opportunities to develop. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cycle Confident and LBs of Greenwich and Lewisham on this innovative project funded by the Bikeability Trust which aims to make Bikeability more accessible.”
Lambeth’s Cycling Projects’ funding will help with the development and delivery of an inclusive Bikeability training module that can be rolled out Nationally.
Ian Tierney, of Cycling Project said this is an excellent opportunity to bring their knowledge, experience and understanding from working in a broad range of disability sectors for a number of years and that they want to bring such insight into the learning process for the benefit of Bikeability Instructors from Cycle Confident and BikeRight! and in turn allow the instructors to engage fully with children and young people who may need additional support to cycle.
Emily Cherry, Executive Director at the Bikeability Trust added that their vision is to ensure that everyone has the confidence to cycle and enjoy this skill for life but they understand that, for some, there are barriers to cycling confidently and competently.
The information and experience these pilot projects will generate will help them to deliver their commitment for every child to be able to access cycle training.
For more information about the Bikeability Trust, visit their website: www.bikeability.org.uk
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