Raleigh has lent its support to the grass roots of cycling by donating stock to local schools to help inspire future members of the cycle industry.
The distributor recently donated two carbon race frames and carbon aero forks, a top end race saddle and a selection of pumps for use in design, science and maths classes, among others.
The donations are close to the heart of Raleigh employee Andy Parker, who believes that distributors need to support schools and colleges through old stock donations to encourage future generations interested in the cycle industry.
“I have studied product design from school all the way through my education to finally graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Industrial Design and Technology. One key trend at every level of study is the distinct lack of cycle specific products on display in classrooms. Being able to touch and hold a product enables you to have a much greater understanding on how and why it was made. Looking on the internet and studying drawings can only go so far.”
Parker is calling on bicycle distributors across the land to follow in Raleigh’s footsteps. He told BikeBiz: “I hope all other distributors take note of what we’re doing and donate any old stock to local schools and departments to benefit the future of the British cycle industry. Subjects such as design, science, athematics,
art, PE and others would easily benefit from a cycle product to demonstrate and run experiments on in class.
“It’s also vital that it is parts rather than entire bikes, as schools will be reluctant to dismantle a complete bike. With parts they’ll test them, break them, get data
and learn about manufacture.”
Todd Moseley, teacher at Loughborough Grammar School, said: "As a teacher, it is essential that I inspire pupils to become passionate about Design and Technology. Although textbooks can provide a lot of useful information, pupils really benefit from seeing design in action and being able to consider design in a larger context. These components provided by Raleigh do just that. They allow pupils to understand the design process involved, from the initial consideration of the users’ requirements through to the manufacture and eventual evaluation of the product.
“To have such excellent products for the pupils to interact with is essential to spark their own imagination and creativity. I am extremely beneficial to Raleigh for this fantastic generosity and only wish other companies would follow their lead."