Bikeability Scotland in the Western Isles
28 June 2022
The author of this blog is Nina Saunders, Cycling Scotland Training Manager.
When we developed the Bikeability Scotland resources to bring them in line with the updated National Standard for Cycle Training during the pandemic I kept fast forwarding to this year, in my mind, when we would be able to use them in person, face to face with school pupils.
The experience of using and delivering the resources was invaluable and I fundamentally believe that they are incredibly useful - for instructors and for the children - and make the training that is delivered more flowing, realistic and better for the children in terms of their understanding. Despite the four seasons of rain, hail, wind and then sun, I could not have envisaged a better outcome last week in the Western Isles. Over three days, with Stornoway Primary School, we supported Level 2 Bikeability Scotland training for three groups of children - which means that around 100 children have now learned to control and ride their bikes on local roads around their school. The children were so enthusiastic and loved being outside all day as they grew their confidence and understanding of cycling.
To celebrate we all cycled together around Lews Castle at the end of the final day, which enabled us to practice and discuss the use of shared space. Some of the children were on the new bikes that Cycling Scotland funded to ensure that no child is excluded from participation. So many of the children let me know that they were loving being on bikes, enjoying the freedom and feeling of achievement.
I am thankful to all the children, their teachers and the fantastic tutor team of Brian Salvona, Ileene Mulholland and Philippa Barber for their endless enthusiasm and support for Bikeability Scotland training. It makes such a difference to the children in being able to cycle confidently, both now and throughout the rest of their young and adult lives. I am also glad that our new style training has taken flight in the Western Isles.
Nina Saunders, Cycling Scotland Training Manager.