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Sustrans are a sustainable transport charity with a main focus on improving conditions for cyclists. To achieve their aim they build and maintain cycle routes, encourage other people to cycle, and raise an awareness of cyclists amongst drivers. Sustrans have been running The Big Pedal for several years and, this year’s event promises to be bigger than ever.
The Big Pedal is held in schools all over the UK. It centres around getting pupils, parents, and staff to cycle (or scoot) in place of driving. In 2019 the event runs from the 25th March – 5th April, which means you have two weeks of school runs to fill with as much pedalling and scooting as you can!
The main event is a competition to find the group of pupils with the highest proportion of cyclists and scooters in the UK. To earn the chance of winning prizes in The Big Pedal, partaking schools or class groups must log the percentage of school runs which have been cycled or scooted each day. At the end of the two weeks, each group can choose their best five days of results to submit.
To keep the competition fair, the winning group is based on percentages, not numbers. There are also daily prize draws and other one-day challenges – so if your school is unable to complete the two-week challenge, there are other options!
In addition to the competitions, Sustrans are promoting a nation-wide fundraising day. The superhero fundraiser day is all about fancy dress and raising money for the main Sustrans charity. All money will help to make school runs safer for children.
Prizes up for grabs include various aspects of colourful, child-friendly cycling equipment.
As proud sponsors of this wonderful event, we can reveal that one of the prizes will be provided by our own cycle parking division at Broxap!
Two schools will win fun, eye-catching parking for their pupil’s scooters and bicycles.
We expect The Big Pedal 2019 to be heaps of fun. If you want to be in with the chance of earning fun, eye-catching cycle facilities for your school, make sure you sign up soon! However, that’s not the only reason you should get involved…
Active bodies mean active minds. It is widely accepted that exercise significantly improves cognitive capabilities and academic performance in children. Therefore the more pupils who take part in The Big Pedal, the higher achievement should be seen in partaking schools. Furthermore, as cycling requires concentration, children will arrive at the school gates already mentally engaged and ready to learn.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, nearly a quarter of child road casualties in 2016 occurred on the afternoon school run. This is a truly shocking statistic. In order to make the school run safer, we must act and reduce the amount of cars on the road.
Pollution lingers on the playground and is becoming an increasing threat to pupil and staff health. On a local scale, reducing pollution is vital, but The Big Pedal should see fewer cars hovering around schools. To combat this long-term, Sustrans is calling for a new clean air act. Following the 2017 Big Pedal, 75% of schools reported pupils continuing to scoot or cycle after the event had finished. If the numbers continue to increase, this will improve the environment on a national scale.
To find out more about why we think children should be encouraged to take part, see our article on the benefits of cycling to school.
To get started in registering for the Big Pedal, you will need your school’s DfES, SEED or Inst Ref Number. The more schools getting involved, the greater the benefits we’ll see, so start preparing now and spread the word!