During the summer, children from Greater Manchester had the opportunity to take part in a three-day British Cycling Bikeability and Go-Ride coaching programme – in the fantastic location of Manchester City Football Club's Etihad Stadium.
Delivered by British Cycling qualified coaches and instructors, the first day of the programme gave riders a taste of Go-Ride coaching. The cyclists were split into groups based on age and ability, and were coached on balance, coordination, braking, cornering and group riding. Clearly a hit with the children taking part, the learning was set in the context of fun games and mini races, which produced big smiles and enhanced skills in equal measure.
The second two days of the programme focused on cycle training, with children covering Bikeability Levels 1 and 2. Level 1 focuses on basic bike handling skills, such as braking, balance and steering, all in a traffic-free setting, while Level 2 training takes trainees out onto the road and begins to equip riders with the skills to negotiate quiet roads and basic junctions.
John Mills, Director of Coaching, Education and Development at British Cycling, said: “This is the third summer holiday programme we’ve hosted at Manchester City Football Club. The aim of Bikeability is to provide children with the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on the roads.
“We hope to see the children get on their bikes instead of the bus when they go back to school in September!”
"We hope to see the children get on their bikes instead of the bus when they go back to school in September!"
John Mills, Director of Coaching, Education and Development at British Cycling
Amidst honing their cycling skills, the children also took time out for a tour of the mighty and impressive Etihad Stadium, experiencing how it feels to be grilled by the media in the hot seat in the press conference room, as well as visiting the dressing room and getting the manager’s view from the dug-out at the side of the pitch.
Liz Douglas, Membership Schemes Co-ordinator at Manchester City Football Club, said: “Manchester City and British Cycling have developed an extremely close working relationship over the past few years and we’re always happy to welcome the children from the Bikeability programme.
“At the end of the three day event, more local children will have developed new cycling skills and hopefully Manchester City will have gained yet more fans!”
The three-day programme finally culminated in a prize presentation, where trainees were presented with their certificates of achievement and goodie bags, before happily heading home with new skills and confidence to ride their bikes.