New City Cycling Club
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 12:00am 19 November 2006
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The New City Primary School in Newham, East London has been running a cycling club for pupils and parents for over 4 years. By establishing a pool of bikes, the club aims to offer all pupils cycle training and runs regular rides. Parents are encouraged to participate and can also take part in adult cycle training sessions.
Project development and outcomes
Over the last four years, with grants from various funding streams including CLPP, TimeBanks, Early Start and Lottery Awards the club:
- Is run by teacher Liz Bowgett who, along with the schools special needs assistant, is qualified as a National Standards cycle instructor
- Has established a large pool of bikes - accessible outside of school hours - and recycles donated bikes (some donated by local police)
- Offers ALL pupils cycle training
- With the support of the headeacher, runs the twice-weekly cycle training sessions as part of the schools activities.
- Offers cycling as a PE activity
- Includes older siblings, parents and family members by offering use of pool bikes and offering adult cycle training
- Offers secure storage space, accessible at all times, for families to store bikes if they have no room for at home.
- Runs an exchange scheme - when children outgrow their bikes they can trade it in and get the next size up.
- Runs regular rides exploring the local area - particular favourites use the Greenway cycle track over to Victoria Park in Hackney and up to the Thames Barrier.
- In recognition of their outstanding success, in October 2005 the club was awarded the LCC’s London Cycling Award for Best Cycling Initiative for Young People or Children.
- Liz Bowgett is also an active member of the re-launched Newham LCC group
CLPP funding has been used to buy more bikes: adult models to involve and offer cycle training to more parents and ‘tag-alongs’ and baby seats to encourage parents with small children to participate in the rides.
The club has grown in popularity year by year. An average of 60 children cycle to school every day and a pool of 150 bikes is available for use by pupils, older siblings, parents and staff. A new Saturday morning training session is now in place and SureStart funding starting this year will enable training to be extended to under-5s and their parents.
Ongoing funding will always be sought to ensure this project can continue to reach and influence as wider audience as possible.
This vital community work could not be done without the support of our membership. The best way to ensure more local communities are introduced to the benefits of cycling is to become a member today.