Nearly 1,000 primary school pupils across Flintshire are set to benefit as part of a scheme designed to deliver learn-to-cycle training.
Nine schools from across Deeside, Flint and Mold have signed up to the ‘Balanaceability’ programme. This equips individual schools with a ten-strong mixed pack of 12in and 14in balance bikes, children’s helmets and balance equipment bags.
They will also get two complete resource sets that will help teachers deliver the training, as well as supporting pupils to develop core strengths and develop motor neurone skills. It is Balanceability’s largest ever single contract in North Wales and comes after its parent company TTC Group secured funding direct from Flintshire Council and the Welsh Government, a model it is hoping to reciprocate with other areas across the country.
“Schools in Wales are keen to tackle the obesity challenge and one of the ways they can do this is getting their pupils to do more sport, including learning how to ride a bike – they can do that when they are playing with friends, at home or exploring new places,” said Samantha Wright, sales manager at Balanceability.
“Our programme makes life easy for schools. We provide the specially adapted bikes, the safety equipment and a step-by-step resource pack that guides you through how to deliver the training. Riding your bike can reduce health risks, improve motor skills and is a great way of spending time with friends. It’s an important skill that children take with them through the rest of their lives.
“We are delighted to be working with Flintshire Council on this project, the largest single contract we’ve secured in North Wales. The funding commitment shows the local authority is committed to improving the health of children and, once other schools see how successful this programme is, we expect a lot more to come forward.”
Nine schools across Flintshire have signed up so far, including Sandycroft Primary, Sealand Primary, St David’s Primary, St Ethelwold’s Church in Wales, Westwood Primary, Ysgol Bryn Deva, Ysgol Gwynedd, Ysgol Maes Y Felin and Ysgol Ty Fynnon. Ross Shepherd, acting head at St Ethelwold’s, added: “We signed up to Balanaceability to give the foundation phase children more opportunities to learn and practice new skills by learning in the outdoors.
“It is a great way to help them practice their balancing and work with an adult on developing their skills in listening and responding to a set of given instructions. It also helps the children develop skills linked to sharing and working with others.”