Nearly 1000 primary school pupils across Flintshire are set to benefit as part of an industry-leading scheme designed to deliver crucial learn-to-cycle training.
Nine schools from across Deeside, Flint and Mold are taking advantage of a new drive to help children become healthier and active by signing up to the ‘Balanceability’ programme.
This equips individual schools with a 10-strong mixed pack of 12” and 14” balance bikes, children’s helmets and balance equipment bag.
They will also get two complete resource sets that will help teachers deliver the training, which is designed to be fun and interactive, as well as supporting pupils to develop core strengths and develop motor neurone skills.
It is Balanceability’s largest ever single contract in North Wales and comes after its parent company TTC Group secured funding direct from Flintshire Council and the Welsh Government, a model it is hoping to reciprocate with other areas across the country.
“Schools in Wales are keen to tackle the obesity challenge and one of the ways they can do this is getting their pupils to do more sport, including learning how to ride a bike – they can do that when they are playing with friends, at home or exploring new places,” explained Samantha Wright, Sales Manager at Balanceability.
“Our programme makes life easy for schools. We provide the specially adapted bikes, the safety equipment and a step-by-step resource pack that guides you through how to deliver the training.”
“Riding your bike can reduce health risks, improve motor skills and is a great way of spending time with friends. It’s an important skill that children take with them through the rest of their lives.
“We are delighted to be working with Flintshire Council on this project, the largest single contract we’ve secured in North Wales. The funding commitment shows the local authority is committed to improving the health of children and, once other schools see how successful this programme is, we expect a lot more to come forward.”
Balanceability has been specially designed with child development experts and cycling professionals so that all children have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike.
It is the only formally approved learn-to-cycle programme for very young children by the Association for Physical Education (afPE) and, since its launch in 2008, has helped more than 500,000 children learn to ride a bike.
Nine schools across Flintshire have signed up so far, including, Sandycroft Primary, Sealand Primary, St David’s Primary, St Ethelwold’s Church in Wales, Westwood Primary, Ysgol Bryn Deva, Ysgol Gwynedd, Ysgol Maes Y Felin and Ysgol Ty Fynnon,
Ross Shepherd, Acting Head at St Ethelwold’s, added his support:
“We signed up to Balanaceability to give the foundation phase children more opportunities to learn and practice new skills by learning in the outdoors.
“It is a great way to help them practice their balancing and work with an adult on developing their skills in listening and responding to a set of given instructions. It also helps the children develop skills linked to sharing and working with others.”
TTC Group acquired Balanceability in 2014 as part of ambitions to expand its training into new specialist areas and underlining its commitment to improving road safety amongst younger, vulnerable road users.
In the five years that have followed, the company has steadily grown its coverage across the UK, winning contracts to supply balance bikes, resources and equipment to the general public, local authorities, schools and other public sector bodies.
For further information, please visit https://www.balanceability.com/ or follow @balanceability on Twitter.