Families are being invited to take up the Big Pedal 2020 – the “UK’s largest” cycling, walking and scooting competition for schools.
This year’s competition is backed up by Dame Sarah Storey, British Paralympian and 35-time world champion in cycling and swimming.
Organised by the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, Big Pedal 2020 will run from 22nd April to 5th May 2020 and will see young people across the UK compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter.
As little as 17.5% of children are meeting the recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity, yet walking, scooting and cycling to school can play a key role in boosting activity levels. Currently just 2% of children in the UK cycle to school, with the number of children being driven, rising.
Dame Sarah Storey, active travel commissioner for the Sheffield City Region, said: “I am proud to be an ambassador for the Big Pedal and look forward to seeing thousands of schools take up the challenge across the UK.
“Walking, cycling or scooting to school is a fantastic way for families to include activity in their daily lives, and helps to improve both the physical and mental health of children and their parents.
“By removing the number of cars at the school gate, streets will become less congested and polluted, making the school run more pleasant for all.
“I enjoy the school run with my own children but on a daily basis I see the challenges faced by parents first hand. Which is why I’m committed to improving walking and cycling infrastructure to enable more families to leave the car at home and walk, scoot or cycle to school.”
Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans, added: “We’re excited to kick off another year of what we hope will be the biggest Big Pedal yet. With the climate crisis in the forefront of pupils and parents minds, campaigns like the Big Pedal are a fun way for us to reduce carbon by walking or cycling to school and make a real difference to our local environment – from less congested streets to better air quality.
“Scores of families are already set to take on the challenge and we hope this enthusiasm will help inspire the change needed to ensure children have safe walking and cycling infrastructure around schools.
“To make it easier for more parents and children to cycle or walk to school, the UK Government must invest in walking and cycling infrastructure so that our streets become more pleasant and safer environment for families to travel by foot or bike.”
Big Pedal 2020 aims to build on the success of 2019 which saw 3.8 million journeys made by bike, foot and scooter and over 1,600 schools take part.
The competition is open to individual classes and year groups as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils expected to take part.
For schools unable to take part in the main challenge there is also a one-day version, which can include cycling, walking and scooting activities during the school day as well as on the journey to school.mSchools will be entered into daily prize draws for rewards, including scooters, if more than 15% of a school cycle, walk or scoot on each day of the challenge.
Tonik Energy is sponsoring this year’s Big Pedal.