Schools across Cumbria are encouraged to sign up to take part in The Big Pedal 2019, organised by national cycling charity Sustrans, and supported by Cumbria County Council’s Active Travel team. This year, The Big Pedal in Cumbria takes place between 25 and 29 March.
The Big Pedal is the UK’s largest inter-school active travel challenge, which inspires pupils, staff and parents to choose ‘human power’ for their journey to school. During last year’s event, over a million journeys were logged nationally by school pupils, staff and parents.
Schools compete on each day of the challenge to see who can record the greatest number of pupils, staff and parents cycling, scooting, or for the first time this year, walking to school. Journeys are logged on The Big Pedal website and are ranked each day against other schools in Cumbria, the North West and the UK.
The theme for this year’s challenge focuses on health, and all schools entering the competition will receive a human body wallchart with curriculum-based fact cards as well as posters, top tips and daily classroom activities to stimulate their learning.
During last year’s Big Pedal, 42 schools in Cumbria logged 10,529 bike journeys, 9,424 trips by scooter, with supporting families logging a further 2,918 journeys – each year more and more active journeys are logged as The Big Pedal gains momentum in Cumbria.
Judith Aris, Active Travel Officer at Cumbria County Council, said: “The Big Pedal event is a brilliant way to get children thinking about their physical health and wellbeing, and ditching the car to get to school is a great way to start! For the first year walking journeys will now count as well, so we are hoping to get some new schools signing up for the first time.
“Not only is it good for the environment, but travelling actively to school results in healthier and fitter children, and we hope they will carry this habit in to their teens and adulthood. This is not just about the children but their families and staff too.”
The council’s Active Travel team is offering an amazing prize to the first Cumbrian schools on the leader board. Winning schools will receive a school visit, workshop and demonstration from Professional Flatland BMX rider and 3 x Guinness World Record Holder Champion Matti Hemmings.
To celebrate the finale of the challenge there is also the option to join in with a superhero day by submitting photos of pupils dressed as superheroes on their bikes, scooters or walking to school! A £100 Halfords voucher will also be up for grabs for the best photo on the day!
Schools can register now at www.bigpedal.org.uk and click on Cumbria County Council as your local authority.