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Northwich schools get cycling
THE Northwich Guardian’s Pedal Power campaign is about inspiring all ages to get out on their bikes, whether for fun, fitness or transport.
And we are not the only ones.
This week we take a look at measures being taken by Cheshire West and Chester Council, which is working with the charity Sustrans to encourage the next generation to cycle.
A BATTLE has been fought between the pupils of Hartford in an adrenaline-filled, fast and frenzied Rollapaluza competition.
Seven schools took part in the inter-school championship, which sees competitors go head to head on static bikes to see who can cover a 250 metre distance the fastest.
The participants race the sprint distance while being cheered or jeered by onlookers, accompanied with a high energy pop soundtrack and MC commentating on the action.
The three-week championship was organised by Sustrans in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) and included St Nicholas Catholic High School, Charles Darwin Primary School, Hartford Manor Community Primary School, Hartford Primary School, The Grange School, St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School and Hartford CE High School.
Sarah Diamond, from Sustrans, said: “The pupils have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this event and we have seen fantastic participation numbers.
“Roller racing is a highly inclusive sport and some of the fastest students were unaware that they possessed an aptitiude for cycling.
“In addition to promoting cycling and fitness we hope that this may encourage more young people to take up cycling as a sport.
“Who knows, we may have found some of the next generation of Team GB cyclists.”
Sustrans and CWAC are working together to provide pupils with skills, information and inspiration to help them take to two wheels for the journey to school on a regular basis.
This is part of an Access to Education programme which, as well as keeping children and teenagers fit, aims to promote cycling as a sustainable form of transport that could cut the levels of congestion around the Hartford campus.
The fastest boy and girl from Year Five to Year 11 got chance to race in the final, held at St Nicholas Catholic High School, with the chance to win goodie bags, medals and a trip to the National Cycle Centre in Manchester.
Cllr Lynn Riley, CWAC’s executive member for community and environment, said: “The wonderful Rollapaluza events gave everyone at each of the schools the opportunity to get on their bikes and if we ever doubted the Olympic legacy, the finals were just as exciting.
“It was also good to see the girls pushing the boys and their performance was outstanding in all ages.
“Nationally there is a reduction in girls riding bikes but this event gave them the chance to see what fun they can have keeping fit.”
And the winners are:
• Year Five - Cameron Senior, from Charles Darwin Primary, and Eleanor McKenzie, from Hartford Manor Primary.
• Year Six - Harry Bennett and Amy Ward, both from Hartford Primary.
• Year Seven - Max Birkenhead and Emma Robinson, both from St Nicholas Catholic High School.
• Year Eight - Elliot Ashwell, from The Grange, and Enya Fitton, from St Nicholas Catholic High School.
• Year Nine - Tom Dufty and Bryony Burrows, both from The Grange.
• Year 10 - Luke Ackerman, from St Nicholas Catholic High School, and Clare Southworth, from The Grange.
• Year 11 - Simon Woodbrignall, from Hartford High School, who also achieved the fastest time of the day, and Caroline Glen, from The Grange.