Highland Council Bikeability Scotland Coordinator, Emma Garden, has been supporting Aviemore Childcare Hub with playground-based cycle training for pupils.
Out with lockdown, Emma supports the delivery of Bikeability Scotland across Highland Councils 172 primary schools.
With the surge in cycling activities during lockdown, it was a good opportunity for the Hub pupils to learn about cycling safely while in the playground environment.
Training includes bike and clothing safety checks, safe starts/stops, balance and speed control and sharing space with pedestrians, among other things.
Bikeability Scotland is ‘hands-off’ training but social distancing and good hygiene measures are even more important now in the safe delivery of cycle training in Hubs.
Emma took guidance from Cycling Scotland and other local authorities, who have successfully delivered Bikeability in childcare hubs, to produce Covid-19 Cycle Training Guidelines that both she as the trainer and the Hubs follow.
These include appropriate risk assessments, no sharing of bikes or equipment among pupils, placing of coloured cones to make it easier for pupils to remain 2m apart, the trainer does not enter the Hub and is accompanied in the playground by a member of staff who can follow the Hubs protocols in the case of an injury, and gloves/wipes/hand gel being available for Emma if she has to make any adjustments on pupil bikes for safety purposes.
Bikeability Scotland is the national training programme for school pupils, it supports the next generation of confident and responsible road users.
Sessions would normally take place within schools throughout the academic year and is supported by the Highland Council Bikeability Scotland Coordinator, school staff and volunteers.
Bikeability Scotland training provides pupils with the skills to safely cycle to school, with an accompanying adult.
Highland schools are currently being encouraged to look at permanent and temporary improvements to their active travel routes for pupils returning in August, making use of the £1m Safer Routes to School funding that has been recently awarded to Highland Council.
Speaking from the keyworker hub in Aviemore Education Support Officer, Clare Blair, said:
“We have children from up and down the Strathspey and Badenoch valley attending the hub from Primary 1 to Primary 7 taking part in the Bikeability sessions.
“The children really enjoy the sessions with Emma where they are learning important skills that will keep them safe but also having lots of fun.
“They are all enthusiastic to learn and have been really good at maintaining the 2m distancing while taking part.”
“The staff and families at the hub would like to thank Emma Garden for running the sessions and in addition like to say a big thank you to two local business, Bothy Bikes of Aviemore and Loch Morlich Watersports, for supporting the local community and key worker families by lending the hub 5 bikes for a month so that all the children that wanted to could take part.
“This has been a way of providing the children with something worthwhile and fun to do during a difficult time.”