Tunstall pupils get on their bikes for city cycling event

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More than 100 pupils from Tunstall schools got on their bikes as part of a scheme to encourage youngsters to cycle more.

The event, which was hosted by the health charity Sustrans saw children from across the area participating in a series of cycling activities aimed at getting pedal-power back into schools.

Pupils from Star Academy, Hill Side Primary and Packmoor Primary, all scooted or cycled over to the session held at Ormiston Horizon Academy.

Once there, the children participated in a number of bike-themed events, all of which were aimed at encouraging safe and fun cycling and travel to and from school.

Obstacle courses, bike try-out sessions, maintenance classes and a pedal-powered smoothie maker were all on offer for the youngsters to try.

Sustrans is a charity that aims to encourage walking and cycling and aims to provide schools and young people with the opportunity to become enthusiastic, responsible and active cyclists.

Steve Dyster, Sustrans schools officer for the city told StaffsLive: “Cycling is a great way to get around – it’s good for the environment and people’s health so it hits every nail on the head.

“Our events are based around improving children’s cycling skills and knowledge about how to use and maintain their bike safely.

“Cycling also helps to reduce congestion within the city.

“If more pupils want to cycle to school then that’ll make a massive difference to the travel culture of the city, with less cars on our roads during the mornings.”

Dawne Byrne, PE co-ordinator at Packmoor Primary School, whose pupils attended the event, said: “The kids think today’s been amazing – they love all the different bikes.

“I think schools and pupils have lost out when it comes to cycling a bit as children really don’t do it as much as they used to, especially in the winter.”

“An event like this allows our students to get out and get involved and hopefully that will mean they can start cycling to school.”

“And then in their spare time cycling to jobs, shops and meeting friends on their bikes, which they don’t now so that’s our aim.”

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