Pupils pedal to school and into winning place

Staff and pupils from Mullavilly PS receive their prize of a mountain bike from Sustrans.INPT20-040
Staff and pupils from Mullavilly PS receive their prize of a mountain bike from Sustrans.INPT20-040

Pupils, parents and staff of Mullavilly Primary School have proved they have real pedalling power!

The school was the top performing school in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council area, in a competition to encourage more children to cycle to school.

Their performance also earned them third place in Northern Ireland.

The school achieved a daily average of 67 per cent of pupils travelling to school by bike or scooter over the 10-day challenge and on their best day, this reached 75 per cent.

A total of 67 Northern Ireland schools took part in The Big Pedal – the UK’s biggest inter-school cycling and scooting competition run by Sustrans and backed by Olympic champion Sharron Davies MBE.

Mullavilly principal Mrs Lynne McClimonds, said, “As an eco school we are delighted to be part of the Sustrans initiative for the next three years. Pupils have enjoyed the events such as Bling your Bike and bike safety workshops. The highlight has been the three weeks of The Big Pedal.

“Pupils, parents and staff rose to the challenge of cycling or scooting to and from school, hence the easing of congestion and promoting active travel. I would like to thank the parents and pupils for their continued support.”

The Big Pedal shows how choosing two wheels instead of four for the school run can help families save cash while getting fit.

Beth Harding, Active Travel co-ordinator for Sustrans Northern Ireland, said, “The school run is a major cause of congestion with 60 per cent of primary school children driven to school in Northern Ireland. The Big Pedal results are timely coming in the same week that Belfast tops a UK poll for most congested city and prove that there are alternatives for getting to school.

“The popularity of the competition shows that when families live near to school it is possible to change the way they get there. Cycling and scooting to school doesn’t just reduce congestion; children that regularly cycle to school are fitter, more alert and better learners too.”