Special needs teachers amazed by effects of cycle training

Bike with roller instead of back wheel.
Bike with roller instead of back wheel

A project in East London is working with special-needs schools to provide cycle training to pupils. According to teachers, the training has had a hugely positive impact on the school.

African Schools Association (ASA), a project supported using funds managed by LCC, works with various special schools, such Rokeby School, to provide the training.

One teaching assistant said, "My student lacked focus and was difficult to engage in classroom activities. Now that he’s learned to cycle, it has bolstered his confidence and his self-esteem."

ASA offers a five-day cycle training course for special needs students. It often uses specially adapted bikes at the beginning of training course in one-on-one sessions.

Little by little, the riders get used to balance on a moving object, learn to steer, brake and pedal. Gradually, the rollers of the stabilisers get changed until eventually the students are able to ride a standard two-wheeled bike.

Case study: Kanswar

One pupil, Kanswar, had given up to learn to ride after being seriously hurt the first time round. During ASA’s training sessions, however, he was provided with a speciallt adapted bike.

In place of a conventional rear wheel, the bike was fitted with a broad roller. Instead of having to focus all his attention on balancing, he could now concentrate on steering, pedalling and braking.

He was able to learn at his own pace, and soon switched to a normal bicycle. He can now ride a bike and has completed Level 1 national standards cycle training.

See .pdf download on the right for complete case study.

Fact file

Name: African Schools Association – special needs cycle training
Purpose: Provide cycle training for special needs children
Funded by the Community Cycling Fund for London (CCFfL) in 2008 and 2009
Activities: ASA’s cycle training camp works within a school’s classroom schedule and provides a five-day cycle training course to up to 10 special needs students.