Schools are being invited to take up the Big Pedal 2019, the ‘UK’s largest’ cycling, walking and scooting challenge for schools.
This year’s competition is backed by Angellica Bell, British television, radio presenter and cycling advocate, who took on the ‘Tour de Celeb’ in 2016.
Organised by the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, the competition will run from 25th March to 5th April. During the ten days, participating primary and secondary schools will compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter.
To coincide with this year’s event, dozens of schools across the UK will be closing the road outside the school gates to motor vehicles. This is to limit the volume of traffic and help reduce air pollution, while creating an environment in which cycling and walking is safe, convenient and enjoyable.
Bell said: “I’m delighted to be supporting this year’s Big Pedal. It’s a fantastic way to encourage more children to cycle, walk or scoot – doing wonders for their health and the environment around them.
“I hope as many schools as possible sign up for the challenge and inspire children and families across the UK to get on their feet, scooter of bike for their journey to school.”
Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans, said: “The Big Pedal may only run for two weeks but can leave a lasting effect on the way children travel to school by showing parents what’s possible and how easy it can be to leave the car at home for a few extra journeys a week.
“With scores of schools already confirming that they will be closing surrounding streets to cars for this year’s Big Pedal, we are confident that 2019 will be even bigger and better than 2018 and demonstrates how people prioritised streets can create a much more pleasant and safer environment for children and parents to travel.”
The theme of this year’s Big Pedal is ‘Travelling around the body’, with pupils tracking their progress on a wall chart, learning about the human body and how active travel benefits their health.
It is open to individual classes as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils expected to take part. Children, parents and teachers will also be able to log, track and compare their journeys online using the Big Pedal website.
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.
Schools and classes 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.