One week; eight schools; over 2000 students; nearly 7000 active cycling or scooting journeys made; over half a million calories burned; average 72% active journeys (up by 20% from last year). No, not the Tour De France; these are some of the headline statistics from the School Travel Challenge, which celebrated a second successful year of encouraging families to leave their cars at home and travel actively to school.
The challenge, organised by Frome Town Council in partnership with Frome’s Missing Links, took place at the end of May and saw students walking, scooting and cycling to school. Building on their victory last year, Beckington First School took top place and recorded a whopping 83% active travel journeys on day four. All schools enjoyed a BMX stunt show and pupils had a go on the ‘smoothie’ bike. Many also had a visit from Dr Bike, scooter skills sessions, obstacle courses and a ‘Be Bright’ mufti day.
The schools were already recording more active journeys at the start of the week than this time last year. That means that our young people are already cycling more than they used to do, which is surely good news. Watch a brilliant video of the week here www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9XvjOSKPTk&feature=youtu.be
Getting to school in an active and sustainable fashion is kind to the environment but also has huge health benefits. International studies have repeatedly found that cycling can hold back the effects of ageing and rejuvenate the immune system. Cyclists also preserve muscle mass and strength with age while maintaining stable levels of body fat and cholesterol.
The School Travel Challenge was set up in 2017 by local charity Frome’s Missing Links, who campaign for better and safer walking and cycling routes in and around Frome. To find out more or to donate to their latest appeal go to: www.fromesmissinglinks.org.uk/donate/