A new cycling scheme is helping a school in East London keep kids away from gangs. The Sustrans-delivered Bike It scheme at Bow Boys school in Hackney uses a BMX pump track built as part of London 2012 Olympics legacy project managed by Access Sport. Bike It is a national school cycling initiative originally seed-funded by the UK bicycle industry via the Bike Hub levy.
The Bow BMX club holds after-school sessions each Thursday involving 17 children from years 7 to 9. Sustrans aims to roll out the initiative to other schools in deprived areas in London’s Olympic Boroughs, but needs to secure £200,000 in funding.
Sustrans Bike It Officer James Scott said: “Cycling is great way for kids to get active. Iit improves their health, helps them focus at school and boosts their self esteem. The BMX Club is a fantastic achievement for Bow Boys.
Dan Pitt, PE teacher at Bow Boys and Sustrans' Bike It champion said: “Bow Boys strongly encourages healthy lifestyles for our students and believe cycling is a fantastic way to get active.
“We are always looking to expand opportunities for our students and hope that the BMX Club will help to address the gang culture in Tower Hamlets while providing students with a great sense of achievement.”
The Bike It project, seed-funded by Bike Hub in 2004, now has over 60 full-time officers working in over 700 schools each year. Running since 2003, the Bike Hub levy is voluntary, paid by the majority of UK bike shops and suppliers.