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Bikeability Scotland needs your help

Written by Fiona February 17 2012

STV weatherman Sean Batty got in the saddle this week to launch a new campaign calling for volunteers for Bikeability Scotland.

If you don’t already know, Bikeability Scotland is the new evolution of the former cycling proficiency test (many of us will remember cycling proficiency from school days when it was seen as the best skive!). The new “test” is a three-level cycle training programme designed to give children the road skills to make independent journeys on their bikes.

Call for Bikeability volunteers

Weatherman Sean Batty launches Bikeability Scotland campaign  Pic credit: Peter Devlin

Weatherman Sean Batty launches Bikeability Scotland campaign Pic credit: Peter Devlin

But the programme relies on local volunteers to help deliver the six-week training to pupils across Scotland – and that was where weatherman Sean came in. Sean joined pupils from St Bernard’s Primary in Pollok, Glasgow, to encourage people from all walks of life to consider volunteering as a Bikeability Scotland instructor.

Sean said: “I have fond memories of my own experiences with Cycling Proficiency and the Bikeability Scotland programme has taken that to a new level, with increased focus on instilling confidence and keeping young people safe on the roads.

“Last summer, I undertook a challenge for the STV Appeal to cycle 130 miles from Stornoway to Lochboisdale in just two days. It was a hugely enjoyable experience for me and I was able to get fit but also appreciate a lot more around me on my journey, so it’s really great to see so many pupils embracing cycling.

“You don’t have to be an expert to get involved. Anyone with an interest in cycling can sign up to become a Bikeability volunteer and help Cycling Scotland to deliver this fantastic programme to young people across Scotland.”

Getting in gear with Cycling Scotland

Organised and implemented by Cycling Scotland, Bikeability Scotland offers much more comprehensive training than the old cycling proficiency test which was traditionally delivered in the playground, and is designed to give the next generation the skills and confidence to ride their bikes safely on today’s roads.

Words from a Bikeability volunteer

Bikeability Scotland Credit: Tony Marsh

Bikeability Scotland Credit: Tony Marsh

Glasgow-based volunteer, Fran Marriott-Laurie said: “Volunteering for cycle training not only gives me a great sense of achievement, it also feels great to be contributing an essential service that local kids might not get otherwise. The children involved in the programme are being taught skills that will help them become confident cyclists so they can ride their bikes to school. Working with the kids is loads of fun, and it feels really good to be helping them be more active and travel sustainably.”

Volunteers will be given training that qualifies them to deliver Bikeability Scotland in their area.  Volunteers will be required to support the programme for one hour a week for six to eight weeks while children get on their bikes and learn how to cycle safely, to school and for leisure.

The programme offers a clear progression starting with basic cycle control skills, riding on road and navigating basic junctions, then making independent journeys, planning the safest route along quiet roads and cycle paths, and negotiating traffic and more complex junctions.

If you are interested in volunteering see Bikeability Scotland

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