Dunstable pupils take on an Olympic feat

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St Augustine’s Academy, Dunstable were treated to a visit from British Cycling Go-Ride Coach, Catherine Ruffley recently.

The event was organised by Sustrans Bike It Officer, Richard Noon in partnership with Public Health at Central Bedfordshire Council, where cycle coaching sessions were run for Year 5 and 6 children.

Pupils rode lightweight Chris Hoy mountain bikes with powerful disc brakes and 24 gears, all supplied for the day by British Cycling.

Coach Catherine Ruffley said: “This was an ideal opportunity for pupils to learn new skills whilst contributing to the development of one of the most successful Olympic sports in recent years”.

“It was a pleasure to work at St Augustine’s Academy, I hope that the coaching sessions have given pupils the confidence to enjoy cycling and take it up as a hobby.”

The 3 fastest boys and girls will form a school team who will compete in the Dunstable Schools Cycling Competition in June where they will face 11 other school teams. The best overall team at this event will go on to compete at the County School Games in Bedford.

Richard Noon said: “28 pupils enjoyed learning key skills such as racing starts, plus correct use of gears and brakes before competing against each other and in teams at circuit racing. During the sessions, two children learned to ride a 2-wheeler for the first time in their life, which is an amazing achievement and shows real determination and enthusiasm”.

St Augustine’s Year 5 teacher Mr Smith said: “The children enjoyed this event and I was most impressed by the attitude of the children who found it difficult, they showed real perseverance and made great improvements in a short space of time.”

St Augustine’s Academy will be taking part in the Big Pedal 2017, where schools across the country are encouraging children, teachers and parents to jump on their bikes and scooters. The national challenge, run from Monday 20 to Friday 31 March, will see participants across the UK leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school.

For more information visit www.bigpedal.org.uk