Health Secretary shows support cycling club funded via LCC

photo Health secretary Andy Burnham (fourth from left) shows his support for cycling projects in London

Health secretary Andy Burnham has shown his support for an LCC-funded cycling project, praising those encouraging young children to enjoy more active lifestyles.

The South Kilburn Cycling Club, one of over 40 community projects managed by LCC via the Community Cycling Fund for London, took the lead in discussions on the key Bike4Life initiative at an event at Willesden Sports Centre on 13 August 2009.

Bike4Life is part of the government's nationwide Change4Life programme to encourage healthier lifestyles across the UK.

Minister sets ambitious goals for the future
Burnham said, "We're a sport-loving nation, but we're nowhere near as active as we should be.

"Five years ago, we set ourselves the target of coming fourth in the 2012 Olympic medal table. Now I want us to aspire to fourth place in the physical activity league over the next 10 years."

Community cycling assistant Mags Reinig said, "The government recommends 60 minutes of exercise for children and 30 minutes for adults daily, though currently only one third of the population achieves this.

"Clubs like the ones that LCC administers are essential for reaching those people most in need.

"Often children from low income and minority backgrounds don’t have access to a bike nor do they live in an environment that encourages and makes possible an active lifestyle.

Support from LCC for those most in need
South Kilburn Cycling Club is open to all local residents, the club organises weekly cycling sessions at a local school for beginners, and rides for the more experienced. New bikes and professional cycle training mean that the club provides safe and high-quality tuition.

Project leader Samuel Essien said, ‘It is important to link the cycling club to initiatives like the Change4Life drive. It gives the kids a feeling of belonging to something bigger, and of making a real difference.’

Demand for the cycling session has been immense. Since it launched in spring 2009 with 10 bikes, the club has secured further funding to double the number. The club is also planning to build a BMX track in one of the local parks which the kids can use.

Fact file

Project South Kilburn cycling club - South Kilburn Partnership
Target group Local children and teenagers from all backgrounds but especially targeting low income families and minority groups
Awarded £2880 by the Community Cycling Fund for London in spring 2009.
Activities Cycle training and social rides for children.