Olympic cyclist Dani King backs new call for school cycling gold standard

A family cycling
Published on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 10:08
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Charity Sustrans has urged the government to introduce a minimum standard of everyday cycling education and support for schools in England by 2016 to tackle childhood obesity, a move supported by Olympic cycling gold medallist Dani King.

Sustrans' report calls for cycling to school to be integrated into the national curriculum so every student can access regular training in safety and maintenance and have a spot to park their bike.

Evidence shows that the one-off training sessions currently available do little to change habits in the long run with only 2 per cent of kids cycling to school regularly.

Physical inactivity among our young people cost taxpayers in England £760 million last year – a new gold standard would build exercise into every day routines at a fraction of the cost.

Sustrans currently runs a programme that supports schools to reach a gold cycling standard which succeeds in trebling student cycling levels. Two schools in Surrey and one in Kent have recently achieved Sustrans' highest award – the first to do so in the UK.

Sustrans Chief Executive Malcolm Shepherd said:

"It's a national tragedy that so few of our children are able to enjoy the benefits of daily exercise and the freedom of cycling to school. "Competitive sport is great but it's not for everyone – we need opportunities for our Olympic-inspired kids to be active every day."

Dani King said:

"I speak to so many kids who would love to cycle to school but they don't have the right training to do so safely or the facilities at school for their bikes."

"We know kids who cycle to school are healthier, more confident and perform better in their lessons."

"If we want to see a real change in the number of kids riding to school, and the benefits that entails, we need a minimum level of cycling education and facilities in every school in the UK."

Source: ©Sustrans

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