The pupils at Kirkroyds Pre-School started their summer holidays with some newly developed cycling skills, after completing a fun eight week course with Cycle Training Instructor and Coach, Mark Wilcox, who is also a parent of one of the young riders.
The My First Cycling Course initiative was developed by Mark to teach children under the age of six to ride a pedal bicycle.
The course was supported by British Cycling, who provided five HOY stroller bikes for the pupils to use as they built up their experience and confidence ahead of moving to pedal powered bikes. The programme also forms part of local cycling club Holme Valley Wheelers’ long term commitment to promote cycling in the region and provide a legacy to the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014, with Mark and other coaches from the club volunteering their time on community projects to help enthuse a new generation.
Using stroller bikes as part of pupils’ development removes the need to use stabilisers and promotes the fundamental skill of balance, which is integral to cycling. Providing the children with training ahead of the summer holidays also meant that they can ride safely and with confidence when out with their families, while hopefully growing a long term relationship with cycling.
With many parents feeling uncertain of how to best support their children to learn to ride, it is important that families know who they can turn to for support and guidance. Seeing clubs like Holme Valley Wheelers and individuals like Mark using their skills and experience to help support more young people into cycling is an inspiring demonstration of the power of a trained and experienced instructor and coach within a community.
Mark commented: “I am delighted with the children’s progress and many are now pedalling unassisted. It’s a great start to them becoming healthy, active kids and one day, who knows... we may have another Laura Trott or Ed Clancy in the mix!”
Colne Valley MP, Jason McCartney, who is also a keen cyclist, presented the 16 young riders with certificates of achievement on completion of the course:
“It’s great to see the youngsters at Kirkroyds Pre-school getting confident on their bikes. I look forward to seeing them cycling up Holme Moss in years to come - just like the Tour de France riders. Congratulations to Mark Wilcox and British Cycling for this great achievement”
Undertaking training to become a cycle training instructor can open up many opportunities to work with young people and complement coaching within a club setting. To find out more about cycle training and learn how to become an instructor, visit the Cycle Training page or contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 274 2129.